New Delhi, November 6: A research led by the King's College, London showed that COVID-19 causes extensive damage to the lungs of the patient infected by the virus. It was observed that the coronavirus induced the formation of abnormal 'fused cell' or 'syncytia' that leads to this damage. It is further attributed to cause breathlessness, fatigue and persistent headaches experienced by the people suffering from COVID-19. The researchers examined various organs, including the lungs, heart, liver and kidney, of 41 patients who died of the coronavirus at the University Hospital of Trieste, Italy.
The research showed a disruption in the normal structure of the lungs, along with the extensive damage, which results in 'long COVID'- a situation where a patient continues to experience the symptoms of COVID-19 for many months even after testing negative.Mauro Giacca, a professor at King’s College London who co-led the study, told the Reuters, “it could very well be envisaged that one of the reasons why there are cases of long COVID is because there is vast destruction of lung.” “Even if someone recovers from COVID, the damage that is done could be massive,” he added. COVID-19 Virus Mutation May Have Made It More Contagious: Study.
The researchers also observed that almost 90 per cent of patients showed two more characteristics that were quite unique to COVID-19 infection. The patients had extensive blood clotting of the lung arteries and veins and several lung cells were abnormally large and had many nuclei, resulting from the fusion of different cells into single large cells. COVID-19 Treatment: Researchers Identify New Drug to Treat Coronavirus Patients.
Giacca also said that the heart, liver and kidneys in the deceased patients had “no overt signs of viral infection or prolonged inflammation. But in the lungs, the researchers found really vast destruction of the architecture of the lungs.” "Any healthy lung tissue was almost completely substituted by scar tissue,” he added. The researchers also noted that the respiratory tissues were transformed into fibre-like material.