Abstract

Pulmonary fibrosis has been identified as a main factor leading to pulmonary dysfunction and poor quality of life in post-recovery Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) survivor's consequent to SARS-Cov-2 infection. Thus there is an urgent medical need for identification of readily available biomarkers that in patients with SARS-Cov-2 infection are able to; (1) identify patients in most need of medical care prior to admittance to an intensive care unit (ICU), and; (2) identify patients post-infection at risk of developing persistent fibrosis of lungs with subsequent impaired quality of life and increased morbidity and mortality. An intense amount of research have focused on wound healing and Extracellular Matrix (ECM) remodelling of the lungs related to lung function decline in pulmonary fibrosis (PF). A range of non-invasive serological biomarkers, reflecting tissue remodelling, and fibrosis have been shown to predict risk of acute exacerbations, lung function decline and mortality in PF and other interstitial lung diseases (Sand et al. in Respir Res 19:82, 2018). We suggest that lessons learned from such PF studies of the pathological processes leading to lung function decline could be used to better identify patients infected with SARS-Co-V2 at most risk of acute deterioration or persistent fibrotic damage of the lung and could consequently be used to guide treatment decisions.

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