Pulmonary Function in Post COVID-19 Infection

Title: Pulmonary Function in Post COVID-19 Infection
Author(s): J. Stephenson M. Balicaco C. Falcao T. Nyaude A. O'Brien B. Casserly
Institution: Respiratory Department, University Hospital Limerick
Poster: Click to view poster
Category: COVID-19
Abstract: Introduction
Persistent breathlessness following COVID-19 infection is becoming an increasingly observed phenomenon. A recent Italian study noted than over 40% of patients hospitalised with COVID-19 infection had persistent dyspnoea at 60 days after the onset of COVID-19 infection. We have recently started receiving referrals for such patients. Here we present their Pulmonary Function Data performed at UHL.
7 Patients, (2M/ 5F) aged 34-66, with a Positive Nasal Swab/Throat Swab for COVID -19 between January 2020 and March 2020 was referred for Pulmonary Function due to persistent shortness of breath. Spirometry and DLCO were performed 45-60 days post Covid-19 infection with confirmed negative swab.
6 patients had normal FEV1, FVC and FEV1/FVC ratio. 1 patient had normal FVC and FEV1/FVC ratio, with a mildly reduced FEV1 (ATS 2005). The same patient with low FEV1 also had a reduced transfer factor; the other 6 patients had normal transfer factor.
Most of these patients were very active prior to COVID-19 infection. While most of these patients have normal lung function, there is a significant reduction in their normal activity level due to persistent shortness of breath.
In this study, the persistent shortness of breath in this patient group does not suggest an association with impaired lung function. Further longitudinal lung function measurements in a larger group of symptomatic patients post COVID-19 infection are necessary, as well as further studies to help elucidate the pathophysiology of persistent symptoms despite normal baseline lung function testing.