All over the world, SARS-CoV-2 pneumonia is causing a significant short-term morbidity and mortality, but the medium-term impact on lung function and quality of life of affected patients are still unknown.
In this prospective observational study, 39 patients with SARS-CoV-2 pneumonia were recruited from a single COVID-19 hospital in Southern Switzerland. At three months patients underwent radiological and functional follow-up through CT scan, lung function tests, and 6 min walking test. Furthermore, quality of life was assessed through self-reported questionnaires.
Among 39 patients with SARS-CoV-2 pneumonia, 32 (82% of all participants) presented abnormalities in CT scan and 25 (64.1%) had lung function tests impairment at three months. Moreover, 31 patients (79.5%) reported a perception of poor health due to respiratory symptoms and all 39 patients showed an overall decreased quality of life.
Medium-term follow up at three months of patients diagnosed with SARS-CoV-2 pneumonia shows the persistence of abnormalities in CT scans, a significant functional impairment assessed by lung function tests and a decreased quality of life in affected patients. Further studies evaluating the long-term impact are warranted to guarantee an appropriate follow-up to patients recovering from SARS-CoV-2 pneumonia.