A recent study was conducted by a group of researchers to investigate the possible reasons resulting in silent hypoxia caused by COVID-19. Silent hypoxia is a condition when oxygen levels in the body are abnormally low. In this study, the biomedical engineers used computer modeling to examine the three different situations causing silent hypoxia.
The researchers first studied how COVID-19 affects the lungs’ ability to regulate blood direction. Clinical data suggested that the lungs of some COVID-19 patients were unable to restrict the blood flow to the damaged tissue but were potentially opening up those blood vessels even more.
Next, they examined how blood clotting impacted blood flow in different regions of the lung. Due to the inflamed lining of blood vessels from the COVID-19 infection, tiny blood clots formed inside the lungs had the potential to incite silent hypoxia.
Third, the researchers examined whether COVID-19 conflicts with the normal ratio of air-to-blood flow required for the normal functioning of the lungs. While this type of mismatch is common in respiratory illnesses, researchers suggest that for this to the cause of silent hypoxia, the mismatch must be happening in parts of the lung that don’t appear injured or abnormal on lung scans.
To Know More, You May Refer To:
Jacob Herrmann, Vitor Mori, Jason H. T. Bates, Béla Suki. Modeling lung perfusion abnormalities to explain early COVID-19 hypoxemia. Nature Communications, 2020; 11 (1) DOI: 10.1038/s41467-020-18672-6