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- Juan-Manuel Anaya
- Manuel Rojas
- Martha L. Salinas
- Yhojan Rodríguez
- Geraldine Roa
- Marcela Lozano
- Mónica Rodríguez-Jiménez
- Norma Montoya
- Elizabeth Zapata
- Post-COVID study group
- Diana M Monsalve
- Yeny Acosta-Ampudia
- Carolina Ramírez-Santana
The existence of a variety of symptoms with a duration beyond the acute phase of COVID-19, is referred to as post-COVID syndrome (PCS). We aimed to report a series of patients with PCS attending a Post-COVID Unit and offer a comprehensive review on the topic. Adult patients with previously confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection were systematically assessed through a semi-structured and validated survey. Total IgG, IgA and IgM serum antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 were evaluated by an electrochemiluminescence immunoassay. A systematic review of the literature and meta-analysis were conducted, following PRISMA guidelines. Univariate and multivariate methods were used to analyze data. Out of a total of 100 consecutive patients, 53 were women, the median of age was 49 years (IQR: 37.8 to 55.3), the median of post-COVID time after the first symptoms was 219 days (IQR: 143 to 258), and 65 patients were hospitalized during acute COVID-19. Musculoskeletal, digestive (i.e., diarrhea) and neurological symptoms including depression (by Zung scale) were the most frequent observed in PCS patients. A previous hospitalization was not associated with PCS manifestation. Arthralgia and diarrhea persisted in more than 40% of PCS patients. The median of anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies was 866.2 U/mL (IQR: 238.2 to 1681). Despite this variability, 98 patients were seropositive. Based on autonomic symptoms (by COMPASS 31) two clusters were obtained with different clinical characteristics. Levels of anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies were not different between clusters. A total of 40 articles (11,196 patients) were included in the meta-analysis. Fatigue/muscle weakness, dyspnea, pain and discomfort, anxiety/depression and impaired concentration were presented in more than 20% of patients reported. In conclusion, PCS is mainly characterized by musculoskeletal, pulmonary, digestive and neurological involvement including depression. PCS is independent of severity of acute illness and humoral response. Long-term antibody responses to SARS-CoV-2 infection and a high inter-individual variability were confirmed. Future studies should evaluate the mechanisms by which SARS-CoV-2 may cause PCS and the best therapeutic options.
PCS is mainly characterized by musculoskeletal, pulmonary, digestive and neurological involvement including depression.
PCS is independent of severity of acute illness and humoral immune response.
Autonomic symptoms may help to classify patients with PCS.
Long-term antibody responses to SARS-CoV-2 infection and a high inter-individual variability were confirmed.