Mid-Term Sequelae of Surviving Patients Hospitalized in Intensive Care Unit for COVID-19 Infection: The REHCOVER Study

J Clin Med. 2023 Jan 28;12(3):1000. doi: 10.3390/jcm12031000.


Objectives: The objective of this prospective, single-center study was to explore the mid-term outcomes 6 to 9 months after hospitalization in an Intensive Care Unit (ICU) for severe COVID-19 infection.

Methods: Patients systematically underwent biological tests, pulmonary function tests, chest computed tomography (CT) scan, and psychological tests.

Results: Among 86 patients, including 71 (82.6%) men, median age of 65.8 years (56.7; 72.4), 57 (71.3%) patients presented post-COVID-19 asthenia, 39 (48.1%) muscle weakness, and 30 (36.6%) arthralgia. Fifty-two (64.2%) patients had a decreased diffusion capacity for carbon monoxide (DLCO) <80% and 16 (19.8%) had DLCO <60%. Chest CT-scans showed ground glass opacities in 35 (40.7%) patients, and reticular changes in 28 patients (33.7%), including fibrosis-like changes in 18 (21.7%) patients. Reticular changes and DLCO <60% were associated with length of stay in ICU, and reticular changes with higher maximal CRP level. The psychological questionnaires found 37.7% suffered from depression, 23.5% from anxiety, 42.4% from insomnia, and 9.4% from post-traumatic stress. Being female was associated with a higher frequency of depression and anxiety, with depression scores being associated with obesity.

Conclusions: Many patients hospitalized in ICU for severe COVID-19 infection have mid-term sequelae. Additional studies on the prognostic factors seem necessary.

Keywords: COVID-19; SARS-COV-2; intensive care; mid-term outcomes; sequelae.

Grant support

This research received no external funding.