Publication
Title
Personalized pulmonary rehabilitation program for patients with post‐acute sequelae of COVID‐19 : a proof‐of‐concept retrospective study
Author
Abstract
Long‐COVID patients present with a decline in physical fitness. The aim of this study is to reveal the impact of pulmonary rehabilitation (PR) on physical fitness, quality of life (QoL), and parameters of quantified thorax CT. Long‐COVID patients enrolled in a 3‐month PR program were retrospectively studied. PR included endurance and resistance training three times a week. Assessments pre‐ and post‐rehabilitation included quantified chest CT, pulmonary function tests (PFT), six‐minute walk test (6MWT), cardiopulmonary exercise test, and questionnaires: Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale, post‐COVID‐19 Functional Status scale, Borg score, and EuroQol. Seventeen subjects (5M/12F), mean age 42 ± 13 years, were included. PR improved all questionnaires' results significantly. Only significant difference in PFT parameters was correlation between baseline total lung capacity (TLC) and difference in TLC pre‐ and post‐rehabilitation ( p  = 0.002). 6MWT increased from 329 to 365 m ( p  < 0.001), VO2max changed from 21 to 24 mL/kg/min ( p  = 0.007), peak load increased from 116 to 141 Watt ( p  < 0.001). Blood volume in small pulmonary vessels of 1.25 to 5 mm 2 in cross‐sectional area (BV5%) was higher than observed in patients with acute COVID‐19 infection. After rehabilitation, BV5% decreased from 65% to 62% ( p  = 0.020). These changes correlated directly with changes in TLC ( p  = 0.039). Quantified CT airway volume increased after rehabilitation ( p  = 0.013). After rehabilitation, TLC tended to normalize due to (re)opening of small airways, with decline in air trapping and recruitment of alveoli. Furthermore, this study revealed that pulmonary rehabilitation can improve QoL and physical fitness in long‐COVID patients.
Language
English
Source (journal)
Physiological Reports
Publication
2024
ISSN
2051-817X
DOI
10.14814/PHY2.15931
Volume/pages
12 :3 (2024) , p. 1-11
Article Reference
e15931
Pubmed ID
38296347
Full text (Publisher's DOI)
Full text (open access)
UAntwerpen
Faculty/Department
Research group
Publication type
Subject
Affiliation
Publications with a UAntwerp address
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Creation 02.02.2024
Last edited 06.02.2024
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