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1.
J Nucl Med ; 63(7): 1058-1063, 2022 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1923992

ABSTRACT

During the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, Long COVID syndrome, which impairs patients through cognitive deficits, fatigue, and exhaustion, has become increasingly relevant. Its underlying pathophysiology, however, is unknown. In this study, we assessed cognitive profiles and regional cerebral glucose metabolism as a biomarker of neuronal function in outpatients with long-term neurocognitive symptoms after COVID-19. Methods: Outpatients seeking neurologic counseling with neurocognitive symptoms persisting for more than 3 mo after polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-confirmed COVID-19 were included prospectively between June 16, 2020, and January 29, 2021. Patients (n = 31; age, 53.6 ± 2.0 y) in the long-term phase after COVID-19 (202 ± 58 d after positive PCR) were assessed with a neuropsychologic test battery. Cerebral 18F-FDG PET imaging was performed in 14 of 31 patients. Results: Patients self-reported impaired attention, memory, and multitasking abilities (31/31), word-finding difficulties (27/31), and fatigue (24/31). Twelve of 31 patients could not return to the previous level of independence/employment. For all cognitive domains, average group results of the neuropsychologic test battery showed no impairment, but deficits (z score < -1.5) were present on a single-patient level mainly in the domain of visual memory (in 7/31; other domains ≤ 2/31). Mean Montreal Cognitive Assessment performance (27/30 points) was above the cutoff value for detection of cognitive impairment (<26 points), although 9 of 31 patients performed slightly below this level (23-25 points). In the subgroup of patients who underwent 18F-FDG PET, we found no significant changes of regional cerebral glucose metabolism. Conclusion: Long COVID patients self-report uniform symptoms hampering their ability to work in a relevant fraction. However, cognitive testing showed minor impairments only on a single-patient level approximately 6 mo after the infection, whereas functional imaging revealed no distinct pathologic changes. This clearly deviates from previous findings in subacute COVID-19 patients, suggesting that underlying neuronal causes are different and possibly related to the high prevalence of fatigue.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Cerebrum , Glucose , COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/psychology , Cerebrum/metabolism , Fatigue , Fluorodeoxyglucose F18/metabolism , Glucose/metabolism , Humans , Middle Aged , Neuropsychological Tests , Positron-Emission Tomography
2.
J Nucl Med ; 63(7): 1058-1063, 2022 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1470742

ABSTRACT

During the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, Long COVID syndrome, which impairs patients through cognitive deficits, fatigue, and exhaustion, has become increasingly relevant. Its underlying pathophysiology, however, is unknown. In this study, we assessed cognitive profiles and regional cerebral glucose metabolism as a biomarker of neuronal function in outpatients with long-term neurocognitive symptoms after COVID-19. Methods: Outpatients seeking neurologic counseling with neurocognitive symptoms persisting for more than 3 mo after polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-confirmed COVID-19 were included prospectively between June 16, 2020, and January 29, 2021. Patients (n = 31; age, 53.6 ± 2.0 y) in the long-term phase after COVID-19 (202 ± 58 d after positive PCR) were assessed with a neuropsychologic test battery. Cerebral 18F-FDG PET imaging was performed in 14 of 31 patients. Results: Patients self-reported impaired attention, memory, and multitasking abilities (31/31), word-finding difficulties (27/31), and fatigue (24/31). Twelve of 31 patients could not return to the previous level of independence/employment. For all cognitive domains, average group results of the neuropsychologic test battery showed no impairment, but deficits (z score < -1.5) were present on a single-patient level mainly in the domain of visual memory (in 7/31; other domains ≤ 2/31). Mean Montreal Cognitive Assessment performance (27/30 points) was above the cutoff value for detection of cognitive impairment (<26 points), although 9 of 31 patients performed slightly below this level (23-25 points). In the subgroup of patients who underwent 18F-FDG PET, we found no significant changes of regional cerebral glucose metabolism. Conclusion: Long COVID patients self-report uniform symptoms hampering their ability to work in a relevant fraction. However, cognitive testing showed minor impairments only on a single-patient level approximately 6 mo after the infection, whereas functional imaging revealed no distinct pathologic changes. This clearly deviates from previous findings in subacute COVID-19 patients, suggesting that underlying neuronal causes are different and possibly related to the high prevalence of fatigue.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Cerebrum , Glucose , COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/psychology , Cerebrum/metabolism , Fatigue , Fluorodeoxyglucose F18/metabolism , Glucose/metabolism , Humans , Middle Aged , Neuropsychological Tests , Positron-Emission Tomography
3.
Dtsch Med Wochenschr ; 146(17): e65-e73, 2021 Sep.
Article in German | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1368971

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Increasing evidence suggests that some patients suffer from persistent symptoms for months after recovery from acute COVID-19. However, the clinical phenotype and its pathogenesis remain unclear. We here present data on complaints and results of a diagnostic workup of patients presenting to the post-COVID clinic at the University Medical Center Freiburg. METHODS: Retrospective data analysis of persistently symptomatic patients presenting to our clinic at least 6 months after onset of acute COVID-19. All patients were assessed by a doctor and routine laboratory analysis was carried out. Quality of life was assessed using SF-36 questionnaire. In case of specific persisting symptoms, further organ-specific diagnostic evaluation was performed, and patients were referred to respective departments/specialists. FINDINGS: 132 Patients (58 male, 74 female; mean age 53.8 years) presented to our clinic at least 6 months after COVID-19. 79 (60 %) had been treated as outpatients and 53 (40 %) as inpatients. Most common complaints were persistent fatigue (82 %) and dyspnea on exertion (61 %). Further common complaints were impairments of concentration (54 %), insomnia (43 %), and impairments of smell or taste (35 %). Quality of life was reduced in all sections of the SF-36 questionnaire, yielding a reduced working capacity. Significant pathological findings in laboratory, echocardiographic and radiological work-up were rare. Impairments in lung function tests were more common in previously hospitalized patients. CONCLUSION: Patients presenting 6 months after onset of acute COVID-19 suffer from a diverse spectrum of symptoms with impaired quality of life, also referred to as Long COVID or Post-Acute Sequelae of SARS-CoV-2 infection (PASC). Further research is needed to determine the frequency of these post-COVID syndromes and their pathogenesis, natural course and treatment options. Evaluation and management should be multi-disciplinary.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/complications , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Anosmia , Antibodies, Viral/blood , COVID-19/epidemiology , Dyspnea , Fatigue , Female , Follow-Up Studies , Germany/epidemiology , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Quality of Life , Retrospective Studies , Sleep Initiation and Maintenance Disorders , Surveys and Questionnaires , Taste Disorders , Young Adult
4.
Eur Arch Otorhinolaryngol ; 278(9): 3417-3423, 2021 Sep.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-976994

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE: The COVID-19 pandemic has a major impact on the diagnosis and treatment of ENT patients. The aim of this study was to analyze the influence of the pandemic on the number of otolaryngological procedures, particularly for critical diagnoses with potential negative effects due to prolonged symptom duration. METHODS: We evaluated 10,716 surgical procedures between January 1, 2018 and May 31, 2020, focusing on the 16-week period around March 16, 2020, which includes 1080 observations. We further analyzed subsets of critical procedures. RESULTS: We found a decline in critical procedures by 43% although no critical procedures were postponed by the hospital. Meanwhile, the share of critical procedures increased up to 90% caused by the cancellation of elective surgery. Especially worrisome was that diagnostic procedures for suspected malignancies decreased by 41% during the pandemic. CONCLUSION: The decline in critical procedures in otorhinolaryngology as collateral damage of the COVID-19 pandemic is considerable and therefore alarming.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Otolaryngology , Hospitals, University , Humans , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2
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