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Severe cases of Covid-19 developing into pulmonary fibrosis

Understanding the factors for development of pulmonary fibrosis in Covid-19 to improve prognosis and treatment

Epidemiological and clinical data support the theory that pulmonary fibrosis may be one of the main complications in patients suffering from Covid-19. Dr. Cruz, Dr. Ferrer & Dr. Muñoz at Vall d'Hebron Hospital in Barcelona are studying the mechanisms of progression of this disease in order to establish an effective therapeutic approach.

Symptoms similar to those of hypersensitive pneumonia

Radiological and pathological examinations of patients with the SARS-Cov-21 virus in China revealed inflammatory pulmonary reactions similar to those seen in hypersensitive pneumonia, a type of pulmonary fibrosis. This observation is different from the one found in other viral pneumonias that do not develop in the same way. In patients with inefficient innate immune systems, such as the elderly, SARS-Cov-2 could lead to acute hypersensitive pneumonia.

Working towards a prognosis and a therapeutic approach

The aim of the teams of Dr. Maria Jesus Cruz and Dr. Ferrer at Vall d’Hebron Hospital in Barcelona is to provide knowledge on factors that may influence the development of pulmonary fibrosis in COVID-19. Their study involves 160 patients. Any innate and adaptive immunity biomarkers capable of predicting progression of the disease are also analyzed. The end goal is to improve the therapeutic approach for patients with severe infection. If there is a similarity with other types of pulmonary fibrosis, patients may benefit from treatments that have already proven effective or may receive new anti-fibrosis treatments.

Fundació Hospital Universitari Vall d’Hebron - Institut de Recerca

How the Air Liquide Foundation is participating

The Air Liquide Foundation is assisting with the purchase of laboratory equipment, performance of biomarker analyses and statistical analyses, as well as funding for staff monitoring patients.

1. SARS-Cov-2: Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome - Coronavirus-2