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Persistent Lymphopenia Common in Patients Who Recovered from COVID-19, Study Finds

A recent study has discovered that persistent lymphopenia is common in patients who had recovered from the novel coronavirus disease or COVID-19. Such persistent symptoms appear to be more prevalent among patients with lower serum levels of immunoglobulin A (IgA).

Photo: B-lymphocytes Attacking Virus | InStyleHealth

Experts evaluated 116 patients with median age of 41 years old, 15% were women, who had recovered from COVID-19. Participants were followed up at an outpatient clinic, during which comprehensive lab testing had been conducted. Current study made use of data collected at these sessions, as well as from structured clinical forms and discharge letters.

There were 13 patients (12%) found to have lymphopenia, in whom lymphocyte counts were below the lab-specific range of 1.26-3.35x109/L. Meanwhile, 4 patients in the subgroup had persistent COVID-19 symptoms, corresponding to a prevalence rate of 31%.

There were 19 of the remaining 99 patients with normal lymphocyte counts appeared to have persistent symptoms, corresponding to a prevalence of 19%.

Later follow-up was conducted 80-102 days after being discharged, during which 35 patients remained on the study, of whom 5 had lymphopenia. Persistent COVID-19 symptoms were detected in two of the 5 lymphopenic patients, as well as in 8 of the remaining 22 patients without lymphopenia.

Immunoglobulin A or IgA emerged as the only significant and independent correlate of persistent symptoms, in whom the biomarker was significantly lowered.

Of those participants who had persistent COVID-19 symptoms, the most common symptoms were fatigue (54%), dyspnea (29%), and anosmia (25%). Common onset symptoms were cough, anosmia, fatigue, fever, myalgia, and headache.


Source: Sci Rep 2021;11:12775

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