A follow-up study of 69 discharged SARS patients

J Tradit Chin Med. 2003 Sep;23(3):214-7.


Sixty-nine patients with severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) discharged from Guangdong Provincial TCM Hospital were followed up from January to April 2003 during which the patients were asked to fill the questionnaire form and at the same time received blood routine examination, hepatic, renal, pulmonary and immune function tests, and spiral computerized tomography (CT) of the chest, color B-ultrasonography of the heart with the collected data treated by descriptive analysis and deductive analysis. The results showed that in the 69 followed-up patients, impairment of the hepatic function was found in 5 cases, hypoimmune state in 18, impediment of ventilation in the distal air passages with normal major air passages in 15, increased residual volume in 40, mild disturbance of pulmonary diffusion function in 14, incomplete absorption of inflammatory exudates, focal or multiple interstitial lesions, pulmonary interstitial fibrosis and pleural adhesion in 24; increased resistance or mild systolic hypertension in the pulmonary circulation, and segmental ischemia of the left myocardium in 34; and decreased visual acuity in 2. According to TCM differentiation 24 cases belonged to the type of deficiency of both qi and yin, 8 deficiency of both the heart and spleen, 37 depression of the liver and deficiency of the spleen, 18 intermingling with damp-heat, and 7 intermingling with stagnant blood. Some patients still had psychological problems. The study indicates that though clinically cured and discharged from hospital, some SARS patients have functional impairment of the heart, lung and liver, hypoimmune state as well as psychological problems, and need to be treated accordingly for a complete recovery. A rationale for suggested TCM treatment is expounded.

MeSH terms

  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Drugs, Chinese Herbal / therapeutic use*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Medicine, Chinese Traditional*
  • Phytotherapy*
  • Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome / diagnosis
  • Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome / therapy*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires


  • Drugs, Chinese Herbal