Background: Growing evidence points to a key role of endothelial dysfunction in the pathogenesis of COVID-19. In this study, we evaluated changes in endothelium-dependent flow-mediated dilation (FMD) in a cohort of convalescent COVID-19 patients undergoing pulmonary rehabilitation (PR). Methods: After swab test negativization, convalescent COVID-19 patients refer-ring to a post-acute care facility for PR were consecutively screened for inclusion. Study procedures were performed at the time of hospitalization and discharge. Results: We enrolled 82 convalescent COVID-19 patients (85.4% males, mean age 60.4 years). After PR, a significant improvement in most pulmonary function tests and exercise capacity was documented. FMD changed from 2.48% ± 2.01 to 4.24% ± 2.81 (p < 0.001), corresponding to a 70.9% increase. Significantly higher changes in FMD were found in patients without a history of vascular events as compared to those with (+2.04% ± 2.30 vs. +0.61% ± 1.83, p = 0.013). Values of forced expiratory volume in 1 s (FEV1 %), forced vital capacity (FVC%) and diffusion capacity for carbon monoxide (DLCO%) significantly and directly correlated with FMD both at baseline and after PR. Patients with normal FEV1 % (≥80% predicted) during the overall study period or those normalizing FEV1 % after PR showed a more significant FMD change as compared to patients with persistently impaired FEV1 % (<80% predicted) (p for trend = 0.029). This finding was confirmed in a multivariate analysis. Conclusions: Clinically evaluated endothelial function improves after PR in convalescent COVID-19 patients. A direct and persistent association between the severity of pulmonary and vascular disease can be hypothesized. Endothelial function testing may be useful in the follow-up of convalescent COVID-19 patients.

Clinical assessment of endothelial function in convalescent covid-19 patients undergoing multidisciplinary pulmonary rehabilitation

Molino A.;Calcaterra I.;Di Minno M. N. D.;Maniscalco M.
2021

Abstract

Background: Growing evidence points to a key role of endothelial dysfunction in the pathogenesis of COVID-19. In this study, we evaluated changes in endothelium-dependent flow-mediated dilation (FMD) in a cohort of convalescent COVID-19 patients undergoing pulmonary rehabilitation (PR). Methods: After swab test negativization, convalescent COVID-19 patients refer-ring to a post-acute care facility for PR were consecutively screened for inclusion. Study procedures were performed at the time of hospitalization and discharge. Results: We enrolled 82 convalescent COVID-19 patients (85.4% males, mean age 60.4 years). After PR, a significant improvement in most pulmonary function tests and exercise capacity was documented. FMD changed from 2.48% ± 2.01 to 4.24% ± 2.81 (p < 0.001), corresponding to a 70.9% increase. Significantly higher changes in FMD were found in patients without a history of vascular events as compared to those with (+2.04% ± 2.30 vs. +0.61% ± 1.83, p = 0.013). Values of forced expiratory volume in 1 s (FEV1 %), forced vital capacity (FVC%) and diffusion capacity for carbon monoxide (DLCO%) significantly and directly correlated with FMD both at baseline and after PR. Patients with normal FEV1 % (≥80% predicted) during the overall study period or those normalizing FEV1 % after PR showed a more significant FMD change as compared to patients with persistently impaired FEV1 % (<80% predicted) (p for trend = 0.029). This finding was confirmed in a multivariate analysis. Conclusions: Clinically evaluated endothelial function improves after PR in convalescent COVID-19 patients. A direct and persistent association between the severity of pulmonary and vascular disease can be hypothesized. Endothelial function testing may be useful in the follow-up of convalescent COVID-19 patients.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11588/853740
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