Lung tissue of patients who suffer severely from COVID-19 shows good recovery in most cases, according to a study.
Researchers at the Radbound University in the Netherlands found that the group which was referred by a GP did not recover as well as patients who were admitted to the hospital’s Intensive Care Unit (ICU).
The study, published in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases, included 124 patients who had recovered from acute COVID-19 infections.
The patients were examined by CT scan and a lung function test. After three months, the researchers took stock, which revealed that the patients’ lung tissue is recovering well.
Residual damage in the lung tissue was generally limited, and was most often seen in patients who were treated in the ICU, they said.
According to the study, the most common complaints after three months are fatigue, shortness of breath and chest pains.
“The patterns we see in these patients show similarities with recovery after acute pneumonia or acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), in which fluid accumulates in the lungs,” pulmonologist Bram van den Borst said.
In the study, the patients were divided into three categories: a group who were admitted to the ICU, patients who were admitted to a nursing ward in the hospital, and those who could stay home but experienced persisting symptoms that eventually warranted a referral from their GP.