AIMS: The aim of this study is to share autopsy findings of COVID-19-positive cases and autopsy algorithms for safely handling of suspicious bodies during this pandemic .
METHODS: COVID-19-positive cases of Istanbul Morgue Department were retrospectively analyzed . Sampling indications for PCR tests in suspicious deaths, macroscopic and microscopic findings obtained in cases with positive PCR tests were evaluated .
RESULTS: In the morgue department , 345 (25.8 %) of overall 1336 autopsy cases were tested for COVID-19 . PCR test was found positive in 26 cases . Limited autopsy procedure was performed in 7 cases, while the cause of death was determined by external examination in the remaining 19 cases . Male-to-female ratio was found 3.3:1 and mean age was 60.0 ± 13.6 among all PCR-positive cases . Cause of death was determined as viral pneumonia in fully autopsied cases . Most common findings were sticky gelatinous fluid in cavities and firm and swollen lungs, varying degrees of consolidation . In microscopy, diffuse alveolar epithelial damage, type-II pneumocyte hyperplasia, hyaline membrane formation, fibrinous exudate, and fibrinous plaques in the alveoli were the most common findings .
CONCLUSIONS: In COVID-19 autopsies, pulmonary findings were found to be prominent and the main pathology was pneumonia . Older age and findings of chronic diseases indicate that the cases were in the multirisk group in terms of COVID-19 mortality.
Index: Autopsy, COVID-19, Pulmonary findings, Risk factors