The following is a summary of “Utility of the Enhanced Liver Fibrosis score as a blood biomarker of pulmonary fibrosis secondary to SARS-CoV-2 pneumonia,” published in the NOVEMBER 2023 issue of Pulmonology by Núñez, et al.
Pneumonia caused by SARS-CoV-2 can result in various complications, including pulmonary fibrosis. The Enhanced Liver Fibrosis (ELF) score combines serum markers used to assess liver fibrosis. For a study, researchers sought to explore the ELF score’s potential as a biomarker for detecting pulmonary fibrosis due to COVID-19 pneumonia.
Data were collected three months post-discharge, including chest computed tomography (CT) scans, lung function tests (LFT), and blood analyses. The data were analyzed based on ELF scores and divided into ELF tertiles.
A total of 129 patients were enrolled, with 85.7% initially diagnosed with bilateral pneumonia due to SARS-CoV-2 infection. Three months post-discharge, CT scans were available for 123 patients, and among them, 73 (59.3%) displayed abnormalities in lung parenchyma (PLA). LFT indicated impairment in 28 (22.7%) patients. The most common PLA was ground glass opacities (50%), followed by bronchial thickening (26.8%), reticular patterns (19.5%), consolidation (10.5%), and air bronchogram signs (7.3%). Significantly, radiological findings were prevalent in the higher ELF tertile, with reticular patterns being the predominant PLA (P = 0.002). Additionally, patients with both PLA and LFT impairments tended to have higher ELF scores compared to those with only one type of impairment or none (9.9 (0.7) vs. 9.6 (0.8), 9.1 (1.1), and 9.3 (0.7); P = 0.054).
Patients experiencing both PLA and LFT abnormalities three months after SARS-CoV-2 pneumonia exhibited elevated ELF scores. The ELF score may be a valuable tool for identifying individuals at risk of developing fibrotic changes following SARS-CoV-2 pneumonia.