Clinical Predictors of Lung Function in Patients Recovering From Mild COVID-19

Arturo Cortes-Telles; Esperanza Figueroa-Hurtado; Diana Lizbeth Ortiz-Farias; Gerald Stanley Zavorsky


BMC Pulm Med. 2022;22(294) 

In This Article


Nearly one-third of patients with mild COVID-19 have impaired DLCO 34 days post-diagnosis, and one-fifth of patients have lung restriction. The odds of having an impaired DLCO at follow-up increased by 10% for every one-year increase in age (from 25 to 83) and increased 12-fold if a restrictive spirometric pattern was evident. However, having excessive night sweats and a blocked/runny nose each reduced the probability of an impaired DLCO at follow-up by about 90%, demonstrating a protective effect against an impaired gas exchange. In a summary of 22 studies, having severe COVID-19 disease at diagnosis increased the percentage of those with impaired DLCO by 21%. And, if the study used < 80% of predicted to define DLCO impairment, then 13% more patients would be classified as having a poor gas exchange.