Three-month follow-up after severe COVID-19 infection: are chest CT results associated with respiratory outcomes and respiratory recovery in COVID-19 patients?

M.T.H.F. Janssen*, M.G.H. Thijssen, J. Krdzalic, M.H.M. Gronenschild, S. Ramiro, C. Magro-Checa, R.B.M. Landewe, R.L.M. Mostard

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


BackgroundCT Severity Score (CT-SS) can be used to assess the extent of severe coronavirus disease 19 (COVID-19) pneumonia. Follow-up CT-SS in patients surviving COVID-19-associated hyperinflammation and its correlation with respiratory parameters remains unknown. This study aims to assess the association between CT-SS and respiratory outcomes, both in hospital and at three months after hospitalization.MethodsPatients from the COVID-19 High-intensity Immunosuppression in Cytokine storm Syndrome (CHIC) study surviving hospitalization due to COVID-19 associated hyperinflammation were invited for follow-up assessment at three months after hospitalization. Results of CT-SS three months after hospitalization were compared with CT-SS at hospital admission. CT-SS at admission and at 3-months were correlated with respiratory status during hospitalization and with patient reported outcomes as well as pulmonary- and exercise function tests at 3-months after hospitalization.ResultsA total of 113 patients were included. Mean CT-SS decreased by 40.4% (SD 27.6) in three months (P < 0.001). CT-SS during hospitalization was higher in patients requiring more oxygen (P < 0.001). CT-SS at 3-months was higher in patients with more dyspnoea (CT-SS 8.31 (3.98) in patients with modified Medical Council Dyspnoea scale (mMRC) 0-2 vs. 11.03 (4.47) in those with mMRC 3-4). CT-SS at 3-months was also higher in patients with a more impaired pulmonary function (7.4 (3.6) in patients with diffusing capacity for carbon monoxide (DLCO) > 80%pred vs. 14.3 (3.2) in those with DLCO < 40%pred, P = 0.002).ConclusionPatients surviving hospitalization for COVID-19-associated hyperinflammation with higher CT-SS have worse respiratory outcome, both in-hospital and at 3-months after hospitalization. Strict monitoring of patients with high CT-SS is therefore warranted.
Original languageEnglish
Article number74
Number of pages10
JournalBMC Pulmonary Medicine
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 7 Mar 2023
Externally publishedYes


  • COVID-19
  • Hyperinflammation
  • CT severity score

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