In view of the COVID-19 pandemic, in 2020 a central registry was established at the Uniklinik RWTH Aachen for autopsies of COVID-19 deceased persons (DeRegCOVID). This was done with the support of the Federal Association of German Pathologists e.V. (BDP) and the German Society of Pathology (DGP).
This initiative was strongly welcomed and supported by the Federal Ministry of Health.
Today, autopsies continue to be of great importance for understanding the pathogenesis of diseases, especially when the disease is caused by a previously unknown pathogen such as SARS-CoV (2002, worldwide), MERS-CoV (2012, Arabia), SARS-CoV-2 (2020, worldwide), or when mutations of known viruses occur, as in the case of influenza virus H1N1 (2009, worldwide) and influenza virus H5N1 (2004, worldwide).
At the time of disease emergence or mutation, little is known about the pathogenesis of the new disease. This applies both to the spread within the human body and to the effects on the respective organs and cells. Finally, it is still unclear which predisposing, clinically non-manifest pathological changes or underlying diseases are responsible for mild, severe or lethal courses of the disease.
Autopsies of patients provide a unique opportunity to help better understand the pathophysiology and progression of the disease and thus answer some of the unanswered questions. At best, such insights can improve patient therapy.
The aim of the DeRegCOVID registry is to record, as far as possible, all autopsy cases of COVID-19 patients throughout Germany and subsequently serve as a central point of contact for data analysis and research inquiries. In addition, the DeRegCOVID registry functions as the backbone of DEFEAT PANDEMIcs.
The registry is coordinated and managed by the Institute of Pathology of the Uniklinik RWTH Aachen in close cooperation with the Institute of Medical Informatics and the Center for Translational & Clinical Research (CTC-A) of the Uniklinik RWTH Aachen.
If you are interested in participating, you can also find the flyer for the registry here.