BioScience Trends. 2023;17(2):85-116. (DOI: 10.5582/bst.2023.01039)

Sequelae of long COVID, known and unknown: A review of updated information

Asakawa T, Cai QX, Shen JY, Zhang Y, Li YS, Chen PY, Luo W, Zhang JG, Zhou JF, Zeng H, Weng RH, Hu F, Feng HQ, Chen J, Huang Jie, Zhang XY, Zhao Y, Fang LK, Yang RQ, Huang J, Wang FX, Liu YX, Lu HZ


Over three years have passed since the COVID-19 pandemic started. The dangerousness and impact of COVID-19 should definitely not be ignored or underestimated. Other than the symptoms of acute infection, the long-term symptoms associated with SARS-CoV-2 infection, which are referred to here as "sequelae of long COVID (LC)", are also a conspicuous global public health concern. Although such sequelae were well-documented, the understanding of and insights regarding LC-related sequelae remain inadequate due to the limitations of previous studies (the follow-up, methodological flaws, heterogeneity among studies, etc.). Notably, robust evidence regarding diagnosis and treatment of certain LC sequelae remain insufficient and has been a stumbling block to better management of these patients. This awkward situation motivated us to conduct this review. Here, we comprehensively reviewed the updated information, particularly focusing on clinical issues. We attempt to provide the latest information regarding LC-related sequelae by systematically reviewing the involvement of main organ systems. We also propose paths for future exploration based on available knowledge and the authors' clinical experience. We believe that these take-home messages will be helpful to gain insights into LC and ultimately benefit clinical practice in treating LC-related sequelae.

KEYWORDS: COVID-19, SARS-CoV-2, sequelae, long COVID, follow-up

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