Pleural effusion as an indicator for the poor prognosis of COVID-19 patients

Link to article at PubMed

Int J Clin Pract. 2021 Mar 1:e14123. doi: 10.1111/ijcp.14123. Online ahead of print.

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Coronavirus Disease 19 (COVID-19) is a global health concern that has become a pandemic over the past few months. This study aims at understanding the clinical manifestations of COVID-19 patients with pleural effusion.

METHODS: COVID-19 patients were retrospectively enrolled from the Union Hospital, Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science and Technology. Pharyngeal swabs from patients were tested using real-time polymerase chain reaction. Patients with COVID-19 were divided into two groups based on their computed tomography (CT) scans for the presence of pleural effusion at admission. We compared the clinical features, laboratory findings, scans, and clinical outcomes between the two groups.

RESULTS: Pleural effusion was observed in 9.19% of the patients. Patients with pleural effusion were more likely to be severe or critical cases. Moreover, patients with pleural effusion were associated with increased mortality. Of the 799 discharged patients, patients with pleural effusion had longer hospital stays and duration of viral shedding since the onset of symptoms as compared to that for patients without pleural effusion. After discharge, 217 patients visited for a follow-up CT re-examination at the Union Hospital. The CT scans showed that patients with pleural effusion required a longer time to resolve the lung inflammation after the onset of COVID-19 as compared to the time required by patients without pleural effusion.

CONCLUSION: This population of patients requires special attention and pleural effusion may be an indicator of poor prognosis in COVID-19 patients.

PMID:33650234 | DOI:10.1111/ijcp.14123

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