Post-intensive care syndrome and pulmonary fibrosis in patients surviving ARDS-pneumonia of COVID-19 and non-COVID-19 etiologies

Jamie L. Sturgill, Kirby P. Mayer, Anna G. Kalema, Kinjal Dave, Stephanie Mora, Alborz Kalantar, David J. Carter, Ashley A. Montgomery-Yates, Peter E. Morris

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


The purpose was to examine patient-centered outcomes and the occurrence of lung fibrotic changes on Chest computed tomography (CT) imaging following pneumonia-related acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). We sought to investigate outpatient clinic chest CT imaging in survivors of COVID19-related ARDS and non-COVID-related ARDS, to determine group differences and explore relationships between lung fibrotic changes and functional outcomes. A retrospective practice analysis of electronic health records at an ICU Recovery Clinic in a tertiary academic medical center was performed in adult patients surviving ARDS due to COVID-19 and non-COVID etiologies. Ninety-four patients with mean age 53 ± 13 and 51% male were included (n = 64 COVID-19 and n = 30 non-COVID groups). There were no differences for age, sex, hospital length of stay, ICU length of stay, mechanical ventilation duration, or sequential organ failure assessment (SOFA) scores between the two groups. Fibrotic changes visualized on CT imaging occurred in a higher proportion of COVID-19 survivors (70%) compared to the non-COVID group (43%, p < 0.001). Across both groups, patients with fibrotic changes (n = 58) were older, had a lower BMI, longer hospital and ICU LOS, lower mean RASS scores, longer total duration of supplemental oxygen. While not statistically different, patients with fibrotic changes did have reduced respiratory function, worse performance on the six-minute walk test, and had high occurrences of anxiety, depression, emotional distress, and mild cognitive impairment regardless of initial presenting diagnosis. Patients surviving pneumonia-ARDS are at high risk of impairments in physical, emotional, and cognitive health related to Post-Intensive Care Syndrome. Of clinical importance, pulmonary fibrotic changes on chest CT occurred in a higher proportion in COVID-ARDS group; however, no functional differences were measured in spirometry or physical assessments at ICU follow-up. Whether COVID infection imparts a unique recovery is not evident from these data but suggest that long-term follow up is necessary for all survivors of ARDS.

Original languageEnglish
Article number6554
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023, The Author(s).

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


Dive into the research topics of 'Post-intensive care syndrome and pulmonary fibrosis in patients surviving ARDS-pneumonia of COVID-19 and non-COVID-19 etiologies'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this