Interstitial Lung Disease: An Emerging Epidemic Of Post COVID-19 Pneumonia

Severe acute respiratory syndrome-Coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) virus leaves a trail of devastating pulmonary fibrosis among the COVID survivors. Post-COVID complications are posing a new challenge to physicians. These complications may vary from myalgia, fatigue, or breathlessness due to pulmonary fibrosis. Post-COVID-19 pulmonary fibrosis and its management is currently symptomatic and primarily a new aspect.

Researchers from New Delhi aimed to draw attention to the imminent threat of post-COVID-19 interstitial lung disease (PC-ILD) in COVID survivors through a case series. As a part of this, they conducted a study that included patients admitted with severe COVID in December 2020 and who had prolonged stay with signs and symptoms suggestive of pulmonary fibrosis. Pulmonary fibrosis is diagnosed with the help of HRCT or to differentiate from ILD. Around 3 such patients were identified. All these cases were laboratory-proven COVID positive cases and had developed pulmonary fibrosis, with traction bronchiectasis, termed here as PC-ILD (Post Covid-Interstitial Lung Disease).

Out of the three two of them survived and had improved oxygen saturation at three months of follow-up, while one patient died as he developed arrhythmia.

Researchers note that PC-ILD is one of the emerging complications of COVID-19 pneumonia. A proactive follow-up program should be undertaken to identify and manage the condition.

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