Clinico-radiological evaluation of post COVID-19 at a tertiary pulmonary care centre in Delhi, India
In the present COVID-19 pandemic situation, there is a gradual increase in number of patients with post-COVID-19 sequalae. The present study is a retrospective analysis of these post-COVID-19 patients presenting to one of the units of Viswanathan Chest Hospital, Vallabhbhai Patel Chest Institute, University of Delhi, Delhi in the period from 17 June 2020 to 22 October 2020. We analysed the demographic profile, history, functional assessment and all investigations of this study cohort. Out of the 2,165 patients provided consultation, there were 35 patients of post-COVID-19, which were included in the present study. These patients had a mean duration of 47 days from discharge to first visit to our hospital. Pre-existing respiratory comorbidity was present in 63%. History of hospitalisation was present in 52%. Fatigue (65%) was the most common symptom followed by breathlessness (60%), cough (45.71%) and chest pain (28.57%). Three patients had significant desaturation on 6-minute walk test and one patient had type 2 respiratory failure on presentation. Chest X-ray was abnormal in 34.28% (n=12). On CT thorax (n=17) the most common finding was diffuse reticulations (52.94%) followed by diffuse ground glass opacities (GGOs) (35.29%). One patient each were newly diagnosed as pulmonary tuberculosis and tubercular unilateral hilar lymphadenopathy. Conclusively, post-COVID-19 patients may have remnant symptoms like fatigue, breathlessness and cough. Also, patients with pre-existing respiratory diseases are more symptomatic and even may suffer from deterioration in the clinical course. Further we need to be alert of alternate diagnosis or infections like tuberculosis (TB) in these patients, especially in TB endemic countries like India. Simultaneously, the use of immunosuppressant drugs like steroids for COVID-19 management, predisposes to TB. A proper evaluation with holistic and standardised management plan is the need of the hour for post-COVID-19 patients, until its time course, evolution and manifestations are unravelled.
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