Purpose Morphometric vertebral fractures (VFs) have been recently reported as an important component of the endocrine phenotype of COVID-19 and emerging data show negative respiratory sequelae at long-term follow-up in COVID-19 survivors. The aim of this study was to evaluate the impact of VFs on respiratory function in COVID-19 survivors. Methods We included patients referred to our Hospital Emergency Department and re-evaluated during follow-up. VFs were detected on lateral chest X-rays on admission using a qualitative and semiquantitative assessment and pulmonary function tests were obtained by Jaeger-MasterScreen-Analyzer Unit 6 months after discharge. Results Fifty patients were included. Median age was 66 years and 66% were males. No respiratory function data were available at COVID-19 diagnosis. VFs were detected in 16 (32%) patients. No differences between fractured and non-fractured patients regarding age and sex were observed. Although no difference was observed between VF and non-VF patient groups in the severity of pneumonia as assessed by Radiological-Assessment-of-Lung-Edema score at admission, (5 vs. 6, p = 0.69), patients with VFs were characterized as compared to those without VFs by lower Forced Vital Capacity (FVC, 2.9 vs. 3.6 L, p = 0.006; 85% vs. 110% of predicted, respectively, p = 0.001), Forced Expiratory Volume 1st s (FEV1, 2.2 vs. 2.8 L, p = 0.005; 92% vs. 110% of predicted, respectively, p = 0.001) and Diffusing Capacity of the Lungs for Carbon Monoxide (DLCO 5.83 vs. 6.98 mmol/min/kPa, p = 0.036, 59% vs. 86.3% of predicted, respectively, p = 0.043) at 6-month follow up. Conclusions VFs, expression of the endocrine phenotype of the disease, appear to influence medium-term impaired respiratory function of COVID-19 survivors which may significantly influence their recovery. Therefore, our findings suggest that a VFs assessment at baseline may help in identifying patients needing a more intensive respiratory follow-up and patients showing persistent respiratory impairment without evidence of pulmonary disease may benefit from VFs assessment to preventing the vicious circle of further fractures and respiratory deterioration.

Vertebral fractures at hospitalization predict impaired respiratory function during follow-up of COVID-19 survivors

di Filippo, Luigi;Compagnone, Nicola;Frara, Stefano;Allora, Agnese;Rovere Querini, Patrizia;Giustina, Andrea
2022-01-01

Abstract

Purpose Morphometric vertebral fractures (VFs) have been recently reported as an important component of the endocrine phenotype of COVID-19 and emerging data show negative respiratory sequelae at long-term follow-up in COVID-19 survivors. The aim of this study was to evaluate the impact of VFs on respiratory function in COVID-19 survivors. Methods We included patients referred to our Hospital Emergency Department and re-evaluated during follow-up. VFs were detected on lateral chest X-rays on admission using a qualitative and semiquantitative assessment and pulmonary function tests were obtained by Jaeger-MasterScreen-Analyzer Unit 6 months after discharge. Results Fifty patients were included. Median age was 66 years and 66% were males. No respiratory function data were available at COVID-19 diagnosis. VFs were detected in 16 (32%) patients. No differences between fractured and non-fractured patients regarding age and sex were observed. Although no difference was observed between VF and non-VF patient groups in the severity of pneumonia as assessed by Radiological-Assessment-of-Lung-Edema score at admission, (5 vs. 6, p = 0.69), patients with VFs were characterized as compared to those without VFs by lower Forced Vital Capacity (FVC, 2.9 vs. 3.6 L, p = 0.006; 85% vs. 110% of predicted, respectively, p = 0.001), Forced Expiratory Volume 1st s (FEV1, 2.2 vs. 2.8 L, p = 0.005; 92% vs. 110% of predicted, respectively, p = 0.001) and Diffusing Capacity of the Lungs for Carbon Monoxide (DLCO 5.83 vs. 6.98 mmol/min/kPa, p = 0.036, 59% vs. 86.3% of predicted, respectively, p = 0.043) at 6-month follow up. Conclusions VFs, expression of the endocrine phenotype of the disease, appear to influence medium-term impaired respiratory function of COVID-19 survivors which may significantly influence their recovery. Therefore, our findings suggest that a VFs assessment at baseline may help in identifying patients needing a more intensive respiratory follow-up and patients showing persistent respiratory impairment without evidence of pulmonary disease may benefit from VFs assessment to preventing the vicious circle of further fractures and respiratory deterioration.
COVID-19
Endocrine phenotype
Osteoporosis
Respiratory function
SARS-CoV-2
Vertebral fractures
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11768/135637
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