Association between muscle quality index and pulmonary function in post-COVID-19 subjects.
The SARS-CoV2 pandemic impacted many critically ill patients, causing sequelae, affecting lung function, and involving the musculoskeletal system. We evaluated the association between lung function and muscle quality index in severely ill post-COVID-19 patients. A cross-sectional study was conducted on a post-COVID-19 cohort at a third-level center. The study included patients who had experienced severe-to-critical COVID-19. Anthropometric measurements, such as body mass index (BMI) and handgrip strength, were obtained to calculate the muscle quality index (MQI). Additionally, spirometry, measurements of expiratory and inspiratory pressure, and an assessment of DLCO in the lungs were performed. The MQI was categorized into two groups: low-MQI (below the 50th percentile) and high-MQI (above the 50th percentile), based on sex. Group differences were analyzed, and a multivariate linear regression analysis was performed to assess the association between respiratory function and MQI. Among the 748 patients analyzed, 61.96% required mechanical ventilation, and the median hospital stay was 17 days. In patients with a low MQI, it was observed that both mechanical respiratory function and DLCO were lower. The multivariate analysis revealed significantly lower findings in mechanical respiratory function among patients with a low MQI. The Low-MQI is an independent predictor associated with pulmonary function parameters in subjects with Post-COVID-19 syndrome.