Serious respiratory tract infection with Corona virus 2 (COVID-19) is a brand new respiratory tract infection that has caused a worldwide pandemic in the winter of 2020 with major impacts on society in the affected areas. This applies to both acute health effects with pneumonia and death, but also to overloading the health care system with secondary health injuries. However, it is unknown what the long-term effects of COVID-19 will be. In the SARS epidemic almost 20 years ago with Corona virus 1, it was observed that up to one in four survivors of severe pneumonia developed permanent lung damage (pulmonary fibrosis).
The purpose of this project is to map the incidence of reduced lung function and lung changes detected by CT examination following COVID-19 infection. Secondly, we also want to chart the development of symptoms of heavy breathing, anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder, as well as health-related quality of life.
We will invite all patients who are discharged from Akershus University Hospital (Ahus) in 2020 with diagnosis COVID-19 to participate in the study. Participation will involve performing a CT scan of the lungs 3 months after discharge, and further after 12 months if there were abnormal findings after 3 months. Breathing tests are done at the pulmonary ward after 3 and 12 months. In addition, participants receive a questionnaire digitally or on paper 3 weeks, 3 months and 12 months after discharge. The questions includ heavy breathing, anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder.
There is currently no routine clinical trial of patients with COVID-19. We believe it will be clinically important for national and international health care to uncover the risk of having persistent lung changes or reduced lung function 3 months after COVID-19, and we will publish the results of these studies for the first 100 included patients in work package 1. Other Findings and association analyzes will be published in Work Package 2.