Expert panel provides practical advice for treating patients with post-acute sequelae of SARS-CoV-2 (PASC), or ‘Long COVID’
PHILADELPHIA, May 31, 2022 – The American College of Physicians (ACP) and Annals of Internal Medicine hosted a virtual forum where expert panelists provided practical advice for treating patients with post-acute sequelae of SARS-CoV-2 (PASC). Current limited understanding of the pathophysiology, epidemiology, and course of this condition presents a vexing challenge for clinicians faced with caring for the growing number of patients experiencing PASC, or “Long COVID.” The panelists covered topics such as treatments for symptoms, research, and the continuing need for vaccination.
The forum, Management of Patients With Persistent Symptoms After COVID-19, was the ninth in a series of forums hosted by ACP and Annals of Internal Medicine and was held May 24. A full recording of the forum is available for replay here and is published in Annals of Internal Medicine along with commentary from Christine Laine, MD, MPH, ACP senior vice president and editor-in-chief, Annals of Internal Medicine, and Deborah Cotton, MD, MPH, Deputy Editor of Annals of Internal Medicine.
The program began with the summary of the findings of an NIH study of persisting symptoms after COVID which was published in Annals on May 23. Then three clinical scenarios were presented and the panelists were asked what they would do in each case. The panelists also answered attendee questions about the study and persistent COVID symptoms.
“The symptoms of ‘long COVID’ are varied by type and severity, which means no two patient encounters are the same,” said Ryan Mire, President, MD, FACP, ACP president. “What we do know, however, is that vaccines work and the sooner our patients get vaccinated (if they’re not already) the better in order to prevent the persistent symptoms of COVID.”
In addition to the scenarios, the panelists discussed varied approaches to treating persistent symptoms of COVID. The panel agreed that more data and studies are needed in order to properly treat those symptoms.
"The information provided in this forum is particularly important because so many of our patients are continuing to suffer the effects of COVID-19 infection." said Dr. Laine. “As we await high-quality evidence to guide our treatment decisions, we must do everything we can to care for them. This includes learning from each other.”
Dr. Elisa I. Choi, internist and infectious disease physician in clinical practice, faculty, Harvard Medical School and Chair, ACP Board of Governors, served as program moderator. The forum panelists included:
- Carlos del Rio, MD, Executive Associate Dean, Distinguished Professor, Department of Medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases, Emory University School of Medicine
- Aluko Hope, MD, MSCE, Associate Professor, Division of Pulmonary/Critical Care, Medical Director, Long COVID-19 Program, Oregon Health and Science University
- H. Clifford Lane, MD, Deputy Director, Clinical Research and Special Projects, Director, Division of Clinical Research, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases
- Lindsay Lief, MD, Abby Joseph Cohen Clinical Scholar and Associate Professor of Clinical Medicine, Weill Cornell Medical College, Cornell University, Associate Attending Physician, New York Presbyterian Hospital
About the American College of Physicians
The American College of Physicians is the largest medical specialty organization in the United States with members in more than 145 countries worldwide. ACP membership includes 161,000 internal medicine physicians (internists), related subspecialists, and medical students. Internal medicine physicians are specialists who apply scientific knowledge and clinical expertise to the diagnosis, treatment, and compassionate care of adults across the spectrum from health to complex illness. Follow ACP on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
About Annals of Internal Medicine
Annals of Internal Medicine is the flagship journal of the American College of Physicians (ACP). Annals is the most widely read and cited general internal medicine journal and one of the most influential peer-reviewed clinical journals in the world. Annals’ mission is to promote excellence in medicine, enable physicians and other health care professionals to be well-informed members of the medical community and society, advance standards in the conduct and reporting of medical research, and contribute to improving the health of people worldwide. New content is published every Tuesday at Annals.org. Follow Annals on Twitter and Instagram @AnnalsofIM and on Facebook.