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COVID-19 after 2 Years from Hospital Discharge: A Pulmonary Function and Chest Computed Tomography Follow-Up Study

Authors
  • Mennella, Simone
  • Alicino, Cristiano
  • Anselmo, Marco
  • Carrega, Giuliana
  • Ficarra, Gianluca
  • Garra, Luca
  • Gastaldo, Alessandro
  • Gnerre, Paola
  • Lillo, Flavia
  • Tassara, Rodolfo
  • Terrile, Anna
  • Milanese, Manlio
Type
Published Article
Journal
Respiration
Publisher
S. Karger AG
Publication Date
Jan 09, 2024
Volume
103
Issue
1
Pages
22–31
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1159/000535732
PMID: 38194938
Source
Karger
Keywords
Disciplines
  • Clinical Investigations
License
Green
External links

Abstract

Introduction: Serial follow-up with pulmonary function testing (PFT) and chest computed tomography (CT) after severe COVID-19 are recommended. As a result, many longitudinal studies have been published on COVID-19 of different grade of severity up to 1-year follow-up. Therefore, we aimed at a long-term observational study throughout 2 years after severe COVID-19. Methods: Severe COVID-19 patients were consecutively recruited after hospital discharge between March and June 2020 and prospectively followed up for 24 months, with mMRC dyspnea scale and PFT at 6, 12, and 24 months. Chest CT was performed when clinically indicated. Results: One hundred one patients enrolled completed the observational study. At 24 months, those with reduced total lung capacity (TLC) were 16%, associated with fibrotic ground glass opacity (GGO) and mMRC score >1, respectively, in 75% and 69% of them. At 24 months, those with a reduced diffusing capacity of the lung for CO were 41%, associated with fibrotic GGO and mMRC score >1, respectively, in 53% and 22% of them. Conclusion: Two years after hospitalization for severe COVID-19, a non-negligible number of patients still suffer from “long COVID” due to respiratory damage.

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