Muscle strength and physical performance in patients without previous disabilities recovering from COVID-19 pneumonia
In this cross-sectional study, we evaluated skeletal muscle strength and physical performance (1min- STS and SPPB tests), dyspnea, fatigue and Single Breath Counting at discharge from a post-acute Covid Department, in patients recovering from COVID-19 pneumonia who had no locomotor disability prior to the infection. Quadriceps and biceps were weak in 86% and 73% of patients, respectively. Maximal Voluntary Contraction for quadriceps was 18.9 (6.8) Kg and for biceps 15.0 (5.5) Kg, i.e. 57 and 69% of the predicted normal value (%pred). The number of chair rises in the 1min-STS was 22.1 (7.3) (63% pred), while the SPPB score was 7.9 (3.3) (68% pred). At the end of the 1min-STS test, 24% of patients showed exercise-induced desaturation. The SBC count was 35.4 (12.3), i.e. 71.8% that of healthy controls. Mild-to-moderate dyspnea and fatigue were found after ADL [Borg score 0.5 (0-2) and 1 (0-2)] and after the 1min-STS [Borg score 3 (2-5) and 1 (0-3)]. Significant correlations were observed between muscle strength and physical performance indices (R from 0.31 to 0.69). The high prevalence of impairment in skeletal muscle strength and physical performance in hospitalized patients recovering from COVID-19 pneumonia without prior locomotor disabilities suggests the need for rehabilitation programs after discharge.
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PANERONI, M. et al. Muscle strength and physical performance in patients without previous disabilities recovering from COVID-19 pneumonia. American Journal of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, v. Publish Ahead of Print, 2020.