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Friday, June 05, 2020

Cured Covid-19 patients develop chronic lung fibrosis lesions

Hospital Universitario de Canarias Mataparda / CC BY

The Canary Islands University Hospital (HUC) in La Laguna, Tenerife, began monitoring patients more than a month ago who have recovered from COVID-19 infection and been discharged from hospital, in order to evaluate the potential long-term respiratory consequences, the main risk being pulmonary fibrosis.

This activity is being carried out by the Multidisciplinary Unit Specialized in Interstitial Lung Diseases of this hospital, accredited by the Spanish Society of Pneumology and Thoracic Surgery (SEPAR). This project arises from the initiative of the professionals themselves who, given previous experiences with other types of coronaviruses, such as those that caused the outbreaks of acute severe respiratory syndrome, SARS, or the Middle East respiratory syndrome, MERS, in the last two decades, understood it was necessary to carry out follow-up, given the possibility that in a certain number of cases, patients presented respiratory sequelae of clinical significance.

According to Dr. Orlando Acosta, pulmonologist and coordinator of this unit, "a large number of hospitalized patients have been discharged without pulmonary radiological alterations or relevant respiratory symptoms, but there is a group that, 6 or 8 weeks after the acute phase, remain affected and it is especially to them that special attention is being paid." The doctor affirms that they are observing that "although many of the pulmonary alterations, recognizable at that time, seem to be inflammatory changes, in a smaller number of patients, lasting fibrotic-type lesions will remain."

This team of specialists will continue to carry out a close and individualized follow-up of these cases in the coming months in order to assess the scope of these repercussions and implement the corresponding therapeutic strategies in each case.

Pacientes curados de Covid-19 generan lesiones crónicas de fibrosis pulmonar