Coronavirus patients can suffer long-term lung and heart damage but for many this tends to improve over time, a study suggests.
Researchers in the Tyrolean region of Austria recruited coronavirus patients who had been admitted to hospital, and at the European Respiratory Society International Congress today they reported on the first 86 patients enrolled between April 29 and June 9.
The patients were scheduled to return for evaluation six, 12 and 24 weeks after being discharged.
On their first visit, more than half had at least one persistent symptom, predominantly breathlessness and coughing, and CT scans still showed lung damage in 88% of patients.
But by the time of their next visit, 12 weeks after discharge, the symptoms had improved, and lung damage was reduced to 56%.
Dr Sabina Sahanic, a clinical PhD student at the University Clinic in Innsbruck, and part of the research team that carried out the study, said the results suggest "the lungs have a mechanism for repairing themselves."