Introduction: Given the pathophysiology of coronavirus disease 19 (COVID-19), persistent pulmonary abnormalities are likely.
Methods:We conducted a prospective cohort study in severe COVID-19 patients who had oxygen saturation <94% and were primarily admitted to hospital. We aimed to describe persistent gas exchange abnormalities at 4 months, defined as decreased diffusing capacity of the lungs for carbon monoxide (DLco) and/or desaturation on the 6-minute walk test (6MWT), along with associated mechanisms and risk factors
Results: Of the 72 patients included, 76.1% required admission to the intensive care unit (ICU), while 68.5% required invasive mechanical ventilation (MV). 39.1% developed venous thromboembolism (VTE). At 4 months, 61.4% were still symptomatic. Functionally, 39.1% had abnormal carbon monoxide test results and/or desaturation on 6MWT; high-flow oxygen, MV, and VTE during the acute phase were significantly associated. Restrictive lung disease was observed in 23.6% of cases, obstructive lung disease in 16.7%, and respiratory muscle dysfunction in 18.1%. A severe initial presentation with admission to ICU (p=.0181), and VTE occurrence during the acute phase (p=.0089) were associated with these abnormalities. 41% had interstitial lung disease in computed tomography (CT) of the chest. Four patients (5.5%) displayed residual defects on lung scintigraphy, only one of whom had developed VTE during the acute phase (5.5%). The main functional respiratory abnormality (31.9%) was reduced capillary volume (Vc<70%).
Conclusion: Among patients with severe COVID-19 pneumonia who were admitted to hospital, 61% were still symptomatic, 39% of patients had persistent functional abnormalities and 41% radiological abnormalities after 4 months. Embolic sequelae were rare but the main functional respiratory abnormality was reduced capillary volume. A respiratory check-up after severe COVID-19 pneumonia may be relevant to improve future management of these patients.El texto completo de este artículo está disponible en PDF.
Keywords : COVID-19, follow-up, sequelae: pulmonary embolism, fibrosis