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Comparison of clinical characteristics, laboratory findings and imaging manifestations of COVID-19 in sulfur mustard-exposed survivors and others: a case-control study

Author(s):

Seyed Reza Hosseini Zijoud , Seyed Mohammad Javad Hosseini , Seyed Ali Mirhosseini , Jennifer Swann , Majid Mirzaei Nodoushan , Mojtaba Sharti, Hamidreza Ebrahimi Nezhad, Hassan Amanpour , Maryam Shahriari , Gholamreza Farnoosh , Mohsen Abbasi Farajzadeh and Alireza Jalali Farahani*  

Abstract:


Objective: To determine if previous exposure to sulfur mustard (SM) gas increases the pathogenesis of COVID-19 by comparing clinical characteristics, laboratory findings, and imaging data between SM-exposed survivors and other patients with COVID-19.

Methods: This case-control study was conducted in Baqiyatallah hospital, Tehran, Iran, during 26 Feb - 26 March 2020. The case group was composed of 60 SM-exposed survivors infected with COVID-19, and the control group was composed of 60 patients with COVID-19. Groups were matched for demographic (including age and gender) and comorbidity variables with the exception of lung disease, which was higher in the case group. The clinical characteristics, laboratory findings, and imaging manifestations, as well as outcomes, were compared between the two groups.

Results: While the majority of patients in the case and control groups had at least one comorbidity like diabetes, hypertension, or heart disease, only lung disease was significantly higher in the case than in the control group (P=0.001). Patients in both groups displayed a variety of symptoms on arrival. Only chest pain was significantly more frequent in case patients than those in the control group. The levels of Neutrophils, ESR, BS, AST, LDH, and CRP level in both groups were higher, and Na levels were lower than the normal range. Neutrophils were significantly higher in the case than the control (p=0.02). BUN level was significantly lower inthe control than the case group (p=0.04). Other laboratory findings were in the normal range and similar in both groups. Significantly more patients in the case group showed early-stage opacities than those in the control group (p=.03). There were no significant differences in treatment or outcomes between the two groups.

Conclusion: Most clinical characteristics, laboratory findings of COVID-19 in SM-exposed survivors, and outcomes were similar to those in the non-exposed. While these findings suggest that sulfur mustard gas exposure does not significantly affect the prognosis of the disease, the limitations and sample size of the current study may warrant additional investigations.

Keywords:

COVID-19, SARS-CoV-2, sulfur mustard, Iran

Affiliation:

Research Institute of Police Science & Social Studies, Tehran, Molecular Biology Research Center, Systems Biology and Poisonings Institute, Baqiyatallah University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Applied Microbiology Research Center, Systems Biology and Poisonings Institute, Baqiyatallah University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Professor, Biological Sciences, Interim Director of Africana Studies, Williams Hall, Lehigh University, Bethlehem, Applied Virology Research Center, Baqiyatallah University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Applied Virology Research Center, Baqiyatallah University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Student Research Committee, Baqiyatallah University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Student Research Committee, Baqiyatallah University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Student Research Committee, Baqiyatallah University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Applied Biotechnology Research Center, Baqiyatallah University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Marine Medicine Research Center, Baqiyatallah University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Atherosclerosis Research Center, Baqiyatallah University of Medical Sciences, Tehran



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