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Research shows the profile of those who progress to persistent lung disease after Covid-19

Posted by LIZ DAVENPORT

A study released on the 3rd, shows the profile of people most likely to develop severe interstitial disease, after having Covid-19. Conducted in the UK and published in MDedge: Infectious Disease, it also showed that lung function improves when treated with steroids. Furthermore, it has also been observed that conventional treatment promotes the reduction of symptoms of severe pulmonary inflammation.

The survey was conducted with people, four weeks after hospital discharge, who had signs and symptoms. So, the study population was 325 individuals. It is noteworthy that it was an observational, prospective and monocentric study.

Later, in the sixth week, this population underwent laboratory tests, thus, 77 individuals (24%) were identified with severe and persistent lung disease. Being referred for treatment with a multidisciplinary team.

Of this total, 59 patients had persistent interstitial changes after Covid-19. Of them, 35 had organizing pneumonia. The 30 patients treated with corticosteroids had a mean relative increase of 31.6% in pulmonary diffusion capacity. Not only that, forced vital capacity increased by 9.6% and signs and symptoms, including radiological findings, improved.

The steroid administered was prednisolone. Patients received a maximum initial dose of 0.5mg/kg, with rapid weaning over three weeks. However, because of the type of comorbidity, some of them received lower doses.

Men are more likely to develop persistent lung disease

The study identified the profile of individuals who progressed to persistent inflammatory interstitial lung disease. Thus, most of them were male (71.5%) and overweight (mean BMI of 28.3 kg/m2). However, only 26% were obese. Regarding comorbidities, the most common were asthma and diabetes (22.9%), and most individuals had at least one.

The mean length of stay of the study population was 16.9 days. 82.9% used supplemental oxygen, 55% went to the ICU and 46% underwent mechanical ventilation. Therefore, the survey also noted that patients most vulnerable to lung disease, most of the time, were hospitalized and had a serious condition of Covid-19.

Therefore, all these findings are important, among other things, for quantifying the degree of lung disease after Covid-19. Thus, the analyzes show that early identification of patients with this disease and treatment with steroids can prevent persistent and scarring lung damage.

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