The long-term respiratory morbidity of COVID-19 remains unclear.
We describe the clinical, radiological and pulmonary function abnormalities that persist in previously hospitalised patients assessed 12 weeks after COVID-19 symptom onset, and identify clinical predictors of respiratory outcomes.
At least one pulmonary function variable was abnormal in 58% of patients and 88% had abnormal imaging on chest CT. There was strong association between days on oxygen supplementation during the acute phase of COVID-19 and both DLCO-% (diffusion capacity of the lung for carbon monoxide) predicted and total CT score.
These findings highlight the need to develop treatment strategies and the importance of long-term respiratory follow-up after hospitalisation for COVID-19.