The COVID-19 can cause irreversible damage to the lungs, and a patient with such complications can only be saved with a transplant of this organ, said Northwestern University scientists in their article published on Science Translational Medicine.
They analyzed lung tissue of three patients who required a lung transplant due to persistent respiratory failure caused by COVID-19 and of two people who died due to pneumonia linked to coronavirus for the presence of RNA virus. Experts also studied the state of the lung tissue, including the RNA produced by individual cells.
The analysis revealed extensive lesions and fibrosis in the patient's lungs that resembled end-stage lung fibrosis. The scientists also compared RNA sequencing data from lung cells of patients with advanced-stage COVID-19 with data obtained from the analysis of lungs of patients with pulmonary fibrosis and noticed similarities in gene expression in different cell clones.
Thus, some people with severe COVID-19 develop fibrotic lung disease, and lung transplantation is the only option for survival for them.