After a severe case of COVID-19, a patient's lungs can recover, but not overnight. At my last review with the respiratory consultant a couple of weeks ago, it was found that there was still a slight crackling in my lungs and that my lung capacity was reduced, but it had improved since January. The researchers noted that autopsies of deceased COVID-19 patients and studies of patients with end-stage COVID-19 lung disease have found a number of serious lung problems. They will also obtain cell samples from the lungs of 50 people to see how lung cells have changed in response to the injury.
We do what's called a pulmonary function test, which is a test to look at the lungs and the effects of the infection on lung tissue and airways. They hope to recruit about 250 people with symptoms suggestive of possible lung scarring, such as dyspnoea or persistent cough, to find out more about their long-term lung damage at three and 12 months after COVID-19 infection. Dr Christopher Radchenko, a specialist in pulmonary and critical care medicine at UC Health, explains how COVID-19 affects the lungs. Wells, and colleagues at the National Lung and Lung Institute at Imperial College London, observed that in post-RAAS disease, CT findings that are considered to show fibrosis on follow-up CT continue to dissipate over time.
This means that lung volume is reduced, and this is consistent with what is called interstitial lung disease. The study of immune cells in the lungs of patients with post-COVID lung abnormalities contributes greatly to the understanding of why patients have these persistent inflammations and scarring.