Development of Cavitary Lung Disease as a Long-term Complication of Coronavirus Disease 2019 in a Young Previously Healthy Patient

A Case Report

Goar Egoryan; Elise Hyser; Ammar H. Mushtaq; Maria Adriana Yanez-Bello; Daniela Patricia Trelles-Garcia; Harvey J. Friedman; Guillermo Rodriguez-Nava


J Med Case Reports. 2021;15(377) 

In This Article


Cavitary lung disease may result from several pathological processes, including suppurative necrosis, caseous necrosis, ischemic necrosis, displacement of lung tissue by cystic structures, and cystic dilatation of lung structures, vasculitis, or high-pressure traumas.[1,2] No single factor differentiates organisms frequently associated with pulmonary cavitation from organisms rarely associated with pulmonary cavitation. In general, organisms that cause subacute or chronic lung infections (for example, mycobacteria and fungi) are more frequently associated with cavitary lung disease than organisms that cause acute lung infections (for example, viruses and pneumococcus).[1] However, cavitary lung disease has been documented as a complication of acute viral infections, including severe acute respiratory virus (SARS) and Middle East respiratory virus (MERS) infections.[1,3,4]

After its identification in December 2019, the novel severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has caused a sudden significant increase in hospitalizations for pneumonia with multiorgan disease with acute complications that include impaired function of the heart, brain, lung, liver, kidney, and coagulation system.[5] Long-term outcomes from the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) are currently unknown, but recent data have emerged that some patients continue to experience symptoms and complications related to COVID-19 after the acute infection, the so-called post-acute COVID-19 syndrome.[5,6] Lung cavitation is an uncommon complication and has been mostly reported in the acute and subacute phases of the infection.[3,7–11] Here we report a previously healthy young patient who developed cavitary lung disease 6 months after first onset of symptoms.