Guardian: Abnormalities have been identified in the lungs of long Covid patients that could offer a potential explanation for why some people experience breathlessness long after their initial infection.
‘The long COVID patients had abnormal hyperpolarised xenon MRI scans, indicating ‘significantly impaired gas transfer’ from the lungs to the bloodstream. However their CT scans showed normal results.’https://t.co/HnDlVijypB
— Dr Jake Suett (@jakesuett) January 29, 2022
The findings, from a pilot study involving 36 patients, raise the possibility that Covid may cause microscopic damage to the lungs that is not detected using routine tests.
This is #LongCovid. Get a good look at it… covid isn't just a cold. For some people it destroys lives. Forget having a social life, working, driving. No more energy for showers, walks to the mailbox, cooking meals. pic.twitter.com/8lXCb9UAzE
— mynamesleurah (@mynamesleurah) January 21, 2022
Breathlessness is a symptom in the majority of long Covid patients, but it has been unclear whether this is linked to other factors such as changes in breathing patterns, tiredness, or something more fundamental.
“It is the first study to demonstrate lung abnormalities in [people with long Covid] who are breathless and where other investigations are unremarkable,” said Fraser. “It does suggest the virus is causing some kind of persistent abnormality within the microstructure of the lungs or in the pulmonary vasculature.”
A pair of Democratic House members asked the CDC in a letter Tuesday to release data on the number of Americans who suffer lingering symptoms of coronavirus infection, including breakdowns along race, gender and age. https://t.co/XMC5p5AIR1
— The Washington Post (@washingtonpost) January 25, 2022
More work would be required to clarify the clinical significance of the findings, she added, including how the apparent abnormalities relate to breathlessness.
Claire Steves, a clinical senior lecturer at King’s College London who was not involved in the work, said the findings would be of significant interest to anyone living with long-term breathlessness after Covid.
“They suggest that the efficiency of the lung in doing what it is meant to do – exchange carbon dioxide and oxygen – may be compromised, even though the structure of the lung appears normal,” she said. Read more…