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Evaluation of the Relationship between Exhaled CO Levels with Clinical Course and Parenchymal Involvement in COVID-19 by Dursun E. Afsin, Bugra Kerget

Background: COVID-19, caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus, has infected nearly 270 million people over the past two years. We aimed to determine the exhaled CO levels of patients hospitalized with COVID-19 pneumonia and its correlation with parenchymal involvement.
Methods: Between September 2021 and December 2021, 74 patients who were hospitalized in the infectious diseases service of our hospital and whose delta variant COVID-19 infection was confirmed with real-time PCR method were included in the study. The patients were analyzed in 3 groups: moderate COVID-19 (group 1), severe COVID-19 without macrophage activation syndrome (MAS) (group 2), and severe COVID-19 with MAS (group 3).
Results: While it was observed that the exhaled CO levels were higher in patients in Group 3 at the time of hospitalization than in patients in Group 1 and 2, it was determined that no significant difference was observed between the groups at the time of discharge (p < 0.001, 0.213). CT scores obtained at the time of hospitalization were also observed to be statistically significantly higher in patients in Group 3 when compared to patients in Group 1 and 2 (p = 0.002). In the correlation analysis of the exhaled CO levels and the CT scores at the time of hospitalization, a statistically significant positive correlation was observed (r = 0.628, p < 0.001).
Conclusions: In COVID-19, which has a high affinity for lung tissue compared to other known viral lower respiratory tract infections, the exhaled CO level may be a non-invasive parameter that can be used in the evaluation of parenchymal involvement and clinical course.

DOI: 10.7754/Clin.Lab.2022.220125