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Cureus ; 14(3): e22770, 2022 Mar.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1776622


Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has infected millions worldwide with a high mortality rate due to a lack of definitive treatment. Despite having a wide range of clinical features, acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) has emerged as the primary cause of mortality in these patients. Risk factors and comorbidities like advanced age with limited lung function, pre-existing diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular diseases, and obesity have increased the risk for severe COVID-19 infection. Rise in inflammatory markers like transforming growth factor ß (TGF-ß), interleukin-6 (IL-6), and expression of matrix metalloproteinase 1 and 7 (MMP-1, MMP-7), along with collagen deposition at the site of lung injury, results in extensive lung scarring and fibrosis. Anti-fibrotic drugs, such as Pirfenidone and Nintedanib, have emerged as potential treatment options for post-COVID-19 pulmonary fibrosis. A lung transplant might be the only life-saving treatment. Despite the current advances in the management of COVID-19, there is still a considerable knowledge gap in the management of long-term sequelae in such patients, especially concerning pulmonary fibrosis. Follow up on the current clinical trials and research to test the efficacy of various anti-inflammatory drugs is needed to prevent long-term sequelae early mortality in these patients.