According to a study, lung abnormalities have been observed in long-term COVID patients with breathlessness, raising the idea that coronavirus may induce hidden lung damage that is not recognised by regular tests.
Researchers used a novel xenon gas scan approach to detect lung abnormalities in coronavirus patients who had not been admitted to the hospital but still felt short of breath. COVID patients experience breathlessness ?
Most long-term COVID patients experience breathlessness, but it’s unclear if this is due to other factors like changes in breathing patterns, fatigue, or something more basic.
Despite other testing, such as CT scans, coming back normal, the Explain study, a pilot trial with 36 patients, reveals that long COVID patients have severely decreased gas transfer in the lungs to the bloodstream.
xenon could detect abnormalities in lungs ?
“We knew from our post-hospital COVID trial that xenon could detect abnormalities in the lack of a CT scan or other lung function testing.” “What we’ve shown now is that, despite having normal CT scans, people with long COVID have identical problems seen by xenon MRI scans,” said Fergus Gleeson, the study’s principal investigator.
“These patients had never gone to the hospital and were not suffering from a life-threatening condition when they contracted COVID-19.” “After contracting COVID-19, some of them have been enduring symptoms for a year,” said Gleeson, who is also a professor of radiology at the University of Oxford and a consultant radiologist at Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. many people with long COVID will have abnormal scans ?
According to the professor, there are crucial concerns to be answered, including how many people with long COVID will have abnormal scans, the relevance of the abnormality found, the aetiology of the abnormality, and its long-term consequences.
“We’ll be in a better position to create more effective treatments if we understand the mechanisms causing these symptoms,” Gleeson added. The 36 participants were divided into three groups in the study, which involved teams from Sheffield, Oxford, Cardiff, and Manchester. Around 400 people will be recruited for the entire study.
These are interesting results, according to Emily Fraser, a Respiratory Consultant who leads the Oxford Post-COVID Assessment Clinic. They could indicate that abnormalities observed within the lungs of some people with lengthy COVID-19 contribute to breathlessness. more research is needed to determine their clinical significance ?
“However, these are early results, and more research is needed to determine their clinical significance. Extending this study to a wider group of patients and examining control groups who have recovered from COVID should help us answer this question and learn more about the mechanisms that cause long-term COVID “Fraser noted. Xenon MRI, according to Professor Jim Wild, head of imaging and professor at the University of Sheffield, is well positioned to help understand why certain patients’ breathlessness persists after COVID-19 infection.
“When oxygen is taken up by the lungs, xenon can be used to determine where the anomaly is located between the airways, gas exchange membranes, and capillaries in the lungs. “This multicenter study is very exciting, and I’m looking forward to it helping in the translation of lung MRI methodologies that we’ve developed into clinical application in the United Kingdom,” Wild said.
More than a million people suffering from post covid symptoms ?
More than a million people in the UK are still suffering from symptoms months after being introduced to COVID-19, with breathlessness being among the most common complaints. Professor Nick Lemoine, Chair of the NIHR’s Long Covid funding committee and Medical Director of the NIHR Clinical Research Network, said, “This early research is an important example of both the committed effort the UK research community is making to understand this new phenomenon, and the world-leading expertise that community contains.”
The study is supported by the National Institute for Health Research’s (NIHR) Oxford Biomedical Research Centre, and received government funding. Its findings were published on the bioRxiv pre-print server without being peer-reviewed.