We use cookies to understand how you use our site and to improve your experience. This includes personalizing content and advertising. To learn more, click here. By continuing to use our site, you accept our use of cookies. Cookie Policy.

Features Partner Sites Information LinkXpress
Sign In
Advertise with Us

Download Mobile App





MRI Lung-Imaging Technique Shows Cause of Long-COVID Symptoms

By HospiMedica International staff writers
Posted on 30 Jun 2022
Print article
Image: Researchers use innovative imaging techniques to see how air is exchanged in the lungs (Photo courtesy of Western University)
Image: Researchers use innovative imaging techniques to see how air is exchanged in the lungs (Photo courtesy of Western University)

Many who experience what is now called ‘long-COVID’ report feeling brain fog, breathless, fatigued and limited in doing everyday things, often lasting weeks and months post-infection. Now, for the first time, using functional MRI with inhaled xenon gas, researchers have shown that these debilitating symptoms are related to microscopic abnormalities which affect how oxygen is exchanged from the lungs to the red blood cells.

The LIVECOVIDFREE study led by researchers at Western University (Ontario, Canada) is the largest MRI study of patients with long-COVID and also the first to show a potential cause of long-COVID symptoms. By understanding the cause, team members responsible for patient care have been able to target treatment for these patients. For the study, the researchers recruited patients with suspected long-COVID who were experiencing persistent shortness of breath more than six weeks post-infection. Some study participants were still symptomatic after 35 weeks. The patients who were describing these symptoms were also showing normal results on clinical breathing tests.

By having the study participants inhale polarized xenon gas while inside the MRI, the researchers could see in real-time the function of the 300-500 million tiny alveolar sacs, which are about 1/5 of a mm in diameter and responsible for delivering oxygen to the blood. Further CT scans pointed to ‘abnormal trimming’ of the vascular tree, indicating an impact on the tiny blood vessels that deliver red blood cells to the alveoli to be oxygenated. There also appeared to be no difference in severity of this abnormality between patients who had been hospitalized with COVID-19, and those who recovered without hospitalization, according to the study. This is an important finding as the latest wave of COVID-19 infection has affected large numbers of people who did not need hospital-based care. A one-year follow-up is now underway to better understand these results longitudinally.

“With our MRI technique, we can watch in real-time the air moving through the alveolar membrane and through to the blood cells; and we can actually see the function of the tiny alveolar sacs in the lungs,” said Western University professor Grace Parraga who led the study. “What we saw on the MRI was that the transition of the oxygen into the red blood cells was depressed in these symptomatic patients who had had COVID-19, compared to healthy volunteers.”

“For those who are symptomatic post-COVID, even if they hadn’t had a severe enough infection to be hospitalized, we are seeing this abnormality in the exchange of oxygen across the alveolar membrane into the red blood cells,” added Parraga.

Related Links:
Western University 

Gold Member
POC Blood Gas Analyzer
Stat Profile Prime Plus
Gold Member
Disposable Protective Suit For Medical Use
Disposable Protective Suit For Medical Use
Silver Member
Compact 14-Day Uninterrupted Holter ECG
NR-314P
New
Drill Surgical Power Tool
MCI-280

Print article
Detecto

Channels

Critical Care

view channel
Image: Detecting heart diseases using AI and the ECG (Photo courtesy of 123RF)

AI Technology Boosts ECG Capabilities for Early Heart Disease Diagnosis

Cardiovascular diseases often remain undetected until a critical event like a heart attack or stroke occurs. Early identification is key to improving outcomes, but the absence of clear symptoms complicates... Read more

Surgical Techniques

view channel
Image: ROSA Shoulder is a groundbreaking robotic system for anatomic and reverse shoulder arthroplasty (Photo courtesy of Zimmer Biomet)

World's First Robotic Assistant for Shoulder Replacement Surgery Helps Perform Highly Complex Procedures

A key challenge in performing a shoulder replacement is accurate glenoid and humeral placement, which is a critical factor for post-operative function and long-term implant survival. Now, a groundbreaking... Read more

Patient Care

view channel
Image: The newly-launched solution can transform operating room scheduling and boost utilization rates (Photo courtesy of Fujitsu)

Surgical Capacity Optimization Solution Helps Hospitals Boost OR Utilization

An innovative solution has the capability to transform surgical capacity utilization by targeting the root cause of surgical block time inefficiencies. Fujitsu Limited’s (Tokyo, Japan) Surgical Capacity... Read more

Health IT

view channel
Image: First ever institution-specific model provides significant performance advantage over current population-derived models (Photo courtesy of Mount Sinai)

Machine Learning Model Improves Mortality Risk Prediction for Cardiac Surgery Patients

Machine learning algorithms have been deployed to create predictive models in various medical fields, with some demonstrating improved outcomes compared to their standard-of-care counterparts.... Read more

Point of Care

view channel
Image: The new eye-safe laser technology can diagnose traumatic brain injury (Photo courtesy of 123RF)

Novel Diagnostic Hand-Held Device Detects Known Biomarkers for Traumatic Brain Injury

The growing need for prompt and efficient diagnosis of traumatic brain injury (TBI), a major cause of mortality globally, has spurred the development of innovative diagnostic technologies.... Read more
Copyright © 2000-2024 Globetech Media. All rights reserved.