Lung damage found in COVID dead may shed light on 'long COVID' - study

Reuters
A study of the lungs of people who have died from COVID-19 has found persistent and extensive lung damage in most cases.
Reuters

A study of the lungs of people who have died from COVID-19 has found persistent and extensive lung damage in most cases and may help doctors decipher what is behind a syndrome known as ‘long COVID’, in which patients suffer ongoing symptoms for months.

“The findings indicate that COVID-19 is not simply a disease caused by the death of virus-infected cells, but is likely the consequence of these abnormal cells persisting for long periods inside the lungs,” said Mauro Giacca, a professor at King’s College London who co-led the work.

The research team analyzed samples of tissue from the lungs, heart, liver and kidneys of 41 patients who died of COVID-19 at Italy’s University Hospital of Trieste between February and April 2020.

In a telephone interview, Giacca said that, while his research team found no overt signs of viral infection or prolonged inflammation in other organs, they discovered “really vast destruction of the architecture of the lungs”, with healthy tissue “almost completely substituted by scar tissue”.

The study was published in the journal Lancet eBioMedicine.

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