Survivors of Covid-19 are at risk of having long-term lung damage, a new study has discovered.
Researchers from the University of Oxford found that the virus could be causing lung abnormalities more than three months after patients were diagnosed with coronavirus.
Ten patients, aged between 19 and 69, were examined with a new scanning technique, developed by the University of Sheffield, in which participants inhale xenon gas during MRI scans.
Eight of the patients, who had not been admitted to intensive care after becoming ill with Covid-19, reported persistent shortness of breath and tiredness more than three months after falling sick.
Conventional MRI scans found no lung damage, but the unique scans picked up signs of lung damage as the xenon gas detected areas in the organs where the air was not flowing properly.
“I was expecting some form of lung damage, but not to the degree that we have seen,” study leader Professor Fergus Gleeson shared, noting that he thinks the lung damage is one of the reasons why survivors are suffering from long Covid.
“In other fibrotic lung diseases we have shown the methods to be very sensitive to this impairment and we hope the work can help understand Covid-19 lung disease,” Gleeson added.
He has announced plans to conduct further trials with his technique on 100 patients.
Courtesy: Cover Media