Covid-19 causes long-term sequelae, even for mild forms

Fortunately, many people only have a mild form of Covid-19 illness. Some people are even completely asymptomatic! Does this prove the absence of long-term sequelae? Not so sure … A German study shows that several vital organs (heart, kidney, lungs) can be damaged after contamination with SARS-CoV-2, even in the absence of a severe form of the disease.

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The trial was conducted in Hamburg, Germany. The study, published in European Heart Journal, included 443 people who contracted the disease from Covid-19 without doing severe form and 1,328 witnesses. All of the participants were between 45 and 74 years old. The control group and the patient group were matched on age, sex and level of education. Ten months after infection, the patients participated in a series of examinations allowing a complete assessment of the organism.

Several damaged organs

The researchers were able to highlight lesions on several organs. At lung level, a reduction in volume pulmonary about 3%. At the level of the heart, a 1 to 2% decrease in the pumping force of the organ has been observed. Always at heart level, the concentration of troponin increased by 14% and that of peptide 41% NT-proBNP natriuretic. Troponin is a protein in muscle fibers of the heart ; it is involved in the regulation of the contraction of the heart muscle. When heart cells die, they release troponin. An increase in troponin is therefore synonymous with heart damage, such as a myocardial infarction. NT-proBNP natriuretic peptide is also a marker ofheart failure. In the kidney, a decrease in renal function of 2% has been demonstrated.

A history of thromboses venous were observed more frequently (2 to 3 times) in the group of patients compared to the control group. On the other hand, no significant difference was observed between the two groups at the level of brain. There was no more depression or anxiety in one group than in the other.

Significant lesions

Surprisingly, we therefore realize that patients who have had a Covid-19 which looked like a simple cold, a priori cured, can in fact have sequelae several months after infection. Particularly in the heart, a permanent decrease in the heart’s pumping capacity could lead to an increased risk of heart failure. The authors therefore recommend monitoring cardiac function in the months following infection, if this does not spontaneously normalize. In addition, this study reinforces the idea already suggested by other publications of a link between Covid-19 and venous thrombosis.

The authors encourage practitioners to be particularly vigilant in the event of suspicion of venous thrombosis in a patient positive for Covid-19. This new study allows us to know a little more about this mysterious SARS-CoV-2. She encourages doctors to follow up patients with mild symptoms as well.

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