Whether the COVID-19 pandemic may have modified the clinical planning and course in bronchiectasis patients remains to be fully elucidated. We hypothesized that the COVID-19 pandemic may have influenced the management and clinical outcomes of bronchiectasis patients who were followed up for 12 months. In bronchiectasis patients (n = 30, 23 females, 66 years), lung function testing, disease severity [FEV1, age, colonization, radiological extension, dyspnea (FACED), exacerbation (EFACED)] and dyspnea scores, exacerbation numbers and hospitalizations, body composition, sputum microbiology, and blood analytical biomarkers were determined at baseline and after a one-year follow-up. Compared to baseline (n = 27, three patients dropped out), in bronchiectasis patients, a significant increase in FACED and EFACED scores, number of exacerbations, and erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR) was observed, while FEV1, ceruloplasmin, IgE, IgG, IgG aspergillus, IgM, and IgA significantly decreased. Patients presenting colonization by Pseudomonas aeruginosa (PA) remained unchanged (27%) during follow-up. In bronchiectasis patients, FEV1 declined only after a one-year follow-up along with increased exacerbation numbers and disease severity scores, but not hospitalizations. However, a significant decrease in acute phase-reactants and immunoglobulins was observed at the one-year follow-up compared to baseline. Despite the relatively small cohort, the reported findings suggest that lung function impairment may not rely entirely on the patients' inflammatory status.
Keywords: immunoglobulins; lung function; non-cystic fibrosis bronchiectasis; nutritional status; one-year follow-up; severity scores; systemic inflammation and immunoglobulins.