Introduction: Patients with severe COVID-19 develops an acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), requiring admission to the intensive care unit. COVID-19 also reports an increased prevalence of comorbidities, similar to patients with Sleep disorder breathing (SDB).
Objectives: To evaluate the association between undiagnosed SDB and the risk of ARDS and pulmonary abnormalities in a cohort of patients' survivors of COVID-19 between 3 and 6 months after diagnosis.
Methods: Prospective cohort study of patients who developed ARDS during hospitalization due to COVID-19 compared with a control group of patients who had COVID-19 with mild to moderate symptoms. All patients were evaluated between the 12th and 24th week after SARS-CoV-2 infection. The evaluation includes persistent symptoms, lung diffusing capacity of carbon monoxide (DLCO), chest CT scan and home sleep apnea test. SDB was diagnosed by the respiratory disturbance index ≥5 ev/h. The association between SDB and ARDS, the hazards of lung impairment and the hazard ratios (HR) were analyzed.
Results: A total of 60 patients were included (ARDS: 34 patients, Control: 26 patients). The mean follow-up was 16 weeks (range 12-24). ARDS reported a high prevalence of SDB (79% vs. 38% in control group). A total of 35% reported DLCO impairment, and 67.6% abnormal chest CT. SDB was independently associated to ARDS, OR 6.72 (CI, 1.56-28.93), p < 0.01, and abnormal Chest CT, HR 17.2 (CI, 1.68-177.4, p = 0.01). Besides, ARDS, days in mechanical ventilation, male gender were also associated with an increased risk of abnormal chest CT.
Conclusion: Undiagnosed SDB is prevalent and independently associated with ARDS. In addition, undiagnosed SDB increased the hazard of abnormal Chest CT in the midterm.
Study register: ISRCTN16865246.
Keywords: COVID-19; Obstructive; Pulmonary function test; SARS-CoV-2; Sleep apnea; Sleep disorder breathing.
Copyright © 2021 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.