SARS-CoV-2 post-acute sequelae in previously hospitalised patients: systematic literature review and meta-analysis.

Publication date: Sep 30, 2023

Many individuals hospitalised with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection experience post-acute sequelae of SARS-CoV-2 infection (PASC), sometimes referred to as “long COVID”. Our objective was to conduct a systematic literature review and meta-analysis to identify PASC-associated symptoms in previously hospitalised patients and determine the frequency and temporal nature of PASC. Searches of MEDLINE, Embase, Cochrane Library (2019-2021), World Health Organization International Clinical Trials Registry Platform and reference lists were performed from November to December 2021. Articles were assessed by two reviewers against eligibility criteria and a risk of bias tool. Symptom data were synthesised by random effects meta-analyses. Of 6942 records, 52 studies with at least 100 patients were analysed; ∼70% were Europe-based studies. Most data were from the first wave of the pandemic. PASC symptoms were analysed from 28 days after hospital discharge. At 1-4 months post-acute SARS-CoV-2 infection, the most frequent individual symptoms were fatigue (29. 3% (95% CI 20. 1-40. 6%)) and dyspnoea (19. 6% (95% CI 12. 8-28. 7%)). Many patients experienced at least one symptom at 4-8 months (73. 1% (95% CI 44. 2-90. 3%)) and 8-12 months (75. 0% (95% CI 56. 4-87. 4%)). A wide spectrum of persistent PASC-associated symptoms were reported over the 1-year follow-up period in a significant proportion of participants. Further research is needed to better define PASC duration and determine whether factors such as disease severity, vaccination and treatments have an impact on PASC.

Concepts Keywords
4months Acute
Coronavirus Analysis
December Associated
Hospitalised Clinical


Type Source Name
disease MESH sequelae
disease VO Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2
disease MESH infection
disease MESH post-acute sequelae of SARS-CoV-2 infection
disease VO frequency
disease VO organization
disease IDO symptom
disease MESH SARS-CoV-2 infection
pathway REACTOME SARS-CoV-2 Infection
drug DRUGBANK Tropicamide
disease VO vaccination

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