BACKGROUND: COVID-19 patients develop hypolipidemia . However, it is unknown whether lipid levels have improved and there are potential sequlae in recovered patients .
OBJECTIVE: In this follow-up study, we evaluated serum lipidemia and various physiopathological laboratory values in recovered patients .
METHODS: A 3-6 month follow-up study was performed between June 15 and September 3 , 2020, to examine serum levels of laboratory values in 107 discharged COVID-19 patients (mild = 59; severe/critical = 48; diagnoses on admission). Sixty-one patients had a revisit chest CT scan . A Wilcoxon signed-rank test was used to analyze changes in laboratory values at admission and follow-up .
RESULTS: LDL-c and HDL-c levels were significantly higher at follow-up than at admission in severe/critical cases (p <0.05). LDL-c levels were significantly higher at follow-up than at admission in mild cases (p <0.05). Coagulation and liver functional values were significantly improved at follow-up than at admission for patients (p <0.05). Increases in HDL-c significantly correlated with increases in numbers of white blood cells (p <0.001) during patients' recovery . With exclusion of the subjects taking traditional Chinese medicines or cholesterol-lowering drugs, LDL-c and HDL-c levels were significantly increased at follow-up than at admission in severe/critical cases (p <0.05). Residue lesions were observed in CT images in 72% (44 of 61) of follow-up patients .
CONCLUSIONS: Improvements of LDL-c, HDL-c, liver functions, and incomplete resolution of lung lesions were observed at 3-6 month follow-up for recovered patients, indicating that a long-term recovery process could be required and the development of sequelae such as pulmonary fibrosis could be expected in some patients.
Index: COVID-19, CT, Cholesterol, Follow-up, HDL-c, LDL-c, Residue lesions