Covid 19; Lungs still not perfect even after three months

People are much worried if they will completely recover and have no other complications in future once they recover from Covid 19 infection. Some studies have come out talking of complications that could last even after recovery. A new study by researchers from the UK shows persistent damage in the lungs of COVID-19 patients at least three months after discharged from hospital. In some patients, they found this to last longer.

The journal Radiology published the study of researchers from the Sheffield University and the University of Oxford in the UK.


The researchers said that a routine CT scans and clinical tests might not detect the damages caused to the lungs. The patients who leave the hospital are discharged normal.  But the researchers said that these people might have lung issues even after they are discharged.

XeMRI scans
In the study, the authors say that hyperpolarised xenon MRI (XeMRI) scans found abnormalities in lungs of some COVID-19 patients more than three months after discharged from hospital. In some cases, they claim to have found lung damage after about nine months. In all these cases, other clinical assessments showed normal results.

The researchers noted that the Xe MRI pinpointed the parts of lungs where the physiology of oxygen uptake was impaired due to long effects of COVID 19. This was seen normal on CT scans.


Study’s principal investigator at Oxford professor Fergus Gleeson claimed that many Covid 19 patients still experienced breathlessness several months after discharged from hospital. In all the cases, the CT scan showed the lungs as normal.  The follow up scan using hyperpolarised xenon MRI revealed abnormalities not normally visible on regular scans are indeed present, and these abnormalities are preventing oxygen getting into the bloodstream, as it should in all parts of the lungs, Gleeson said.

The researchers noted that a wider study should be conducted to look into the longer effects of Covid 19 and how it impact the lungs.


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