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Respiratory manifestations of long COVID syndrome and pulmonary function abnormalities at 3-months after COVID-19 infection: A single center experience from Sri Lanka

Authors:

C. Undugodage ,

University of Sri Jayewardenepura, LK
About C.
Faculty of Medical Sciences
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N. Perera,

University of Sri Jayewardenepura, LK
About N.
Faculty of Medical Sciences
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H.D. K. De Silva,

University of Sri Jayewardenepura, LK
About H.D. K.
Faculty of Medical Sciences
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F. A. H. Deen,

University of Sri Jayewardenepura, LK
About F. A. H.
Faculty of Medical Sciences
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R. A. D. Indrakantha,

District General Hospital, Gampaha, LK
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R. A. Y. V. Ranatunga,

District General Hospital, Gampaha, LK
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W. T. P. Weveldeniya,

District General Hospital, Gampaha, LK
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W. A. D. E. Wicramasinghe,

District General Hospital, Gampaha, LK
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G. B. L. Samarasekera

District General Hospital, Gampaha, LK
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Abstract

Background: Long COVID syndrome (LCS) is a recognized sequel of SARS-CoV-2 infection. The aim of this study was to identify the respiratory symptoms of LCS and pulmonary function abnormalities in asymptomatic patients and those with mild to moderate disease, following their recovery from SARS-CoV-2 infection.

 

Methods: An observational study was conducted by recruiting COVID-19 patients presenting for follow-up at 3-months after discharge from intermediate care centre, Gampaha. Patients who had asymptomatic or mild-moderate COVID-19 were recruited by convenient sampling. Symptoms were assessed by an interviewer-administered questionnaire. Lung function was assessed by spirometry.

 

Results: There were 88 patients with a median age of 40 (28-51) years with female predominance (n=85, 96.6%). COVID-19 severity assessment revealed asymptomatic infection in 24 (27%), mild disease in 38 (40.9%) and moderate disease in 26 (31.8%) patients. Symptoms of LCS were present in 13 (54.2%) individuals who were asymptomatic and in 51 (79.7%) patients who had mild-moderate disease at the time of diagnosis. At least one respiratory symptom of LCS was seen in 64 (73%) patients at 3-months and the commonest was shortness of breath (SOB) (n=59, 67%). Majority of patients had mMRC grade 1 (n=39, 66.1%) or grade 2 (n=17, 28.8%) shortness of breath.

 

Presence of LCS was significantly associated with the disease severity (p=0.013) and presence of a comorbidity (p=0.016). Abnormal spirometry was noted in 67% and majority had a restrictive pattern (n=56, 64%). Abnormal spirometry findings were identified in 17 (71%) asymptomatic patients and 50 (78%) with mild-moderate disease.

 

Conclusions: Presence of respiratory symptoms of LCS is common following SARS-CoV-2 infection. SOB was the commonest manifestation and the frequency of respiratory symptoms was significantly higher in the presence of a comorbidity and increased disease severity. Abnormal spirometry were seen in a majority at 3 months following COVID-19.
How to Cite: Undugodage, C., Perera, N., De Silva, H.D.K., Deen, F.A.H., Indrakantha, R.A.D., Ranatunga, R.A.Y.V., Weveldeniya, W.T.P., Wicramasinghe, W.A.D.E. and Samarasekera, G.B.L., 2022. Respiratory manifestations of long COVID syndrome and pulmonary function abnormalities at 3-months after COVID-19 infection: A single center experience from Sri Lanka. Journal of the Ceylon College of Physicians, 53(1), pp.11–16. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/jccp.v53i1.7956
Published on 24 Jun 2022.
Peer Reviewed

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