Long-term Lung Injury Found in 72% of Hospitalized COVID-19 Patients

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A new study published in Radiology reports on the lung changes seen in COVID-19 patients six months after recovery. The study by Caruso et al from Sapienza University of Rome - Sant'Andrea University Hospital prospectively enrolled 118 patients who were admitted to the hospital from March 19, 2020 to May 24, 2020 with moderate to severe COVID-19 pneumonia and received a baseline CT. At six-month follow-up, chest CT revealed late sequelae, in particular fibrotic-like changes in 72% of patients. Fibrotic-like changes to the lungs were more commonly seen in patients over 65 years old and more often in women than in men (72%) followed by ground-glass opacities (42%). Further multivariable analysis showed that male sex, cough lymphocytosis and Quantitative Chest Computed Tomography well-aerated lung volume were significant predictors of fibrotic-like changes at six-month follow-up with an inverse correlation, with an AUC of .92, sensitivity 100% and specificity 73%.

An accompanying editorial by Athol U Wells, MD, and Anand Devaraj, MD, caution readers not to overinterpret the data and note that “there is now a pressing need to gauge the clinical significance of residual disease on CT and to develop predictive models against this end point in future studies.”

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Long-term Lung Injury Found in 72% of Hospitalized COVID-19 Patients.  Appl Radiol. 

By News Release| July 28, 2021

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