COVID-19 Resource Center

COVID-19 Resource Center

Source:

Sahanic S, et al. Covering COVID – the best abstracts. Presented at: European Respiratory Society International Congress; Sept. 7-9, 2020 (virtual meeting).

Disclosures: Sahanic reports no relevant financial disclosures.
September 11, 2020
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Study highlights need for structured follow-up of COVID-19 survivors

Source:

Sahanic S, et al. Covering COVID – the best abstracts. Presented at: European Respiratory Society International Congress; Sept. 7-9, 2020 (virtual meeting).

Disclosures: Sahanic reports no relevant financial disclosures.
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COVID-19 survivors have persisting pulmonary impairment weeks after recovery, but for many it appears to improve over time, researchers reported at the virtual European Respiratory Society International Congress.

“Therefore, a structured follow-up in COVID-19 survivors is to be considered,” Sabina Sahanic, MD, PhD student in the hematological department at the University Clinic of Internal Medicine in Innsbruck, Austria, said during a press conference.

Source: Adobe Stock.

Researchers conducted a prospective, multicenter, observational study that enrolled 86 patients with moderate to critical COVID-19 after recovery. The mean age was 61 years, 35% were women, 48% were former smokers and 65% were overweight or obese. The study was performed from April to June at two sites in Austria, including the COVID-19 “hot spot” in the Tyrolean region, according to a press release.

Eighteen patients (21%) were admitted to the ICU and 16 (19%) required mechanical ventilation.

The researchers performed three follow-up visits at 6, 12 and 24 weeks after discharge, which included clinical examination, laboratory testing, blood gas analysis, lung function, chest CT and echocardiograms.

Forty-seven percent of patients had persisting dyspnea at 6 weeks’ follow-up, with a slight improvement to 39% of patients at 12 weeks’ follow-up. The Modified Medical Research Council questionnaire, which assesses the severity of dyspnea, showed mild to moderate dyspnea in 47% of patients at 6 weeks and 39% at 12 weeks.

At 6 weeks, 28% of patients had impaired FVC, which improved to 19% at 12 weeks. Diffusing lung capacity improved from 33% at 6 weeks to 22% at 12 weeks.

CT showed radiological abnormalities for COVID-19 that were present in 88% of patients at 6 weeks, which improved to 56% at 12 weeks. The most common findings were bilateral and basal ground-glass opacity (88%) and reticulation (63%). CT severity score improved from 8 points at 6 weeks to 4 points at 12 weeks.

Reference:

  • Press Release.