A prospective study of 12-week respiratory outcomes in COVID-19-related hospitalisations

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.

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