Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) reveals lung damage in nonhospitalized children and teens who either had COVID-19 up to a year earlier or have long-COVID symptoms, according to a single-center clinical trial published this week in Radiology.Researchers in Germany evaluated changes in lung structure and function in 54 pediatric COVID-19 survivors and nine healthy controls aged 5 to 17 years using low-field MRI, which doesn't require children to hold their breath during imaging.
Participants also contributed blood samples. The study was conducted from August to December 2021.Signs of decreased lung functionTwenty-nine patients (54%) had recovered from their infections, 25 (46%) had long COVID, and all but one were unvaccinated at the time of infection.
Four COVID-19 patients had asymptomatic acute infections. The median interval between infection and study participation was 222 days.Average patient age was 11 years, and 44% were girls.
Underlying medical conditions were identified in 22% of controls, 5% of recovered patients, and 10% of those with long COVID.