TUESDAY, Sept. 27, 2022 (HealthDay News) — Persistent pulmonary dysfunction is observed on low-field magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in children and adolescents after COVID-19, according to a study published online Sept. 20 in Radiology.

Rafael Heiss, M.D., from the University Hospital Erlangen in Germany, and colleagues characterized morphologic and functional changes of lung parenchyma on low-field MRI in children and adolescents with post-COVID-19 relative to healthy controls in a cross-sectional prospective clinical trial. Low-field MRI was performed between August and December 2021 among 54 participants after COVID-19 infection (29 had recovered and 25 were classified as having long COVID) and nine healthy controls.

The researchers found that one recovered participant had morphologic abnormality. Both ventilated and perfused lung parenchyma (V/Q match) were reduced in the recovered group and the long COVID group compared with healthy controls (62 ± 19 and 60 ± 20 percent, respectively, versus 81 ± 6.1 percent). Compared with never-infected healthy controls, V/Q match was lower in post-COVID-19 patients with infection less than 180, 180 to 360, and 360 days ago (63 ± 20, 63 ± 18, and 41 ± 12 percent, respectively, versus 81 ± 6.1 percent).

“Persistent symptoms after COVID still cause diagnostic odysseys, and this is especially true for young people,” a coauthor said in a statement. “Our findings illustrate that caring for these patients is a multidisciplinary challenge.”

Several authors disclosed financial ties to Siemens Healthcare GmbH.

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