Scientific article
Open access

Breathlessness and COVID-19: A Call for Research

Published inRespiration, vol. 100, no. 10, p. 1016-1026
Publication date2021-07-31

Breathlessness, also known as dyspnoea, is a debilitating and frequent symptom. Several reports have highlighted the lack of dyspnoea in a subgroup of patients suffering from COVID-19, sometimes referred to as "silent" or "happy hyp-oxaemia." Reports have also mentioned the absence of a clear relationship between the clinical severity of the disease and levels of breathlessness reported by patients. The cerebral complications of COVID-19 have been largely demonstrated with a high prevalence of an acute encephalopathy that could possibly affect the processing of afferent signals or top-down modulation of breathlessness signals. In this review, we aim to highlight the mechanisms involved in breathlessness and summarize the pathophysiology of COVID-19 and its known effects on the brain-lung interaction. We then offer hypotheses for the alteration of breathlessness perception in COVID-19 patients and suggest ways of further researching this phenomenon.

  • Breathlessness
  • Coronavirus disease 19
  • Dyspnoea
  • Neuroinvasion
  • Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2
Citation (ISO format)
HENTSCH, Lisa et al. Breathlessness and COVID-19: A Call for Research. In: Respiration, 2021, vol. 100, n° 10, p. 1016–1026. doi: 10.1159/000517400
Main files (2)
Article (Published version)
Article (Accepted version)
ISSN of the journal0025-7931

Technical informations

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