Summary Background COVID-19 is characterised by respiratory symptoms, which deteriorate into respiratory failure in a substantial proportion of cases, requiring intensive care in up to a third of patients admitted to hospital. Analysis of the pathological features in the lung tissues of patients who have died with COVID-19 could help us to understand the disease pathogenesis and clinical outcomes. Methods We systematically analysed lung tissue samples from 38 patients who died from COVID-19 in two hospitals in northern Italy between Feb 29 and March 24, 2020. The most representative areas identified at macroscopic examination were selected, and tissue blocks (median seven, range five to nine) were taken from each lung and fixed in 10% buffered formalin for at least 48 h. Tissues were assessed with use of haematoxylin and eosin staining, immunohistochemical staining for inflammatory infiltrate and cellular components (including staining with antibodies against CD68, CD3, CD45, CD61, TTF1, p40, and Ki-67), and electron microscopy to identify virion localisation.

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