Blood Test to Diagnose Long COVID Could Be On Its Way Soon

One of the hardest things about diagnosing and treating long COVID has been the lack of lab tests to reliably identify this condition. But a new study suggests that it might one day be possible to diagnose long COVID with a blood test.

Researchers examined blood samples from 268 people, including some who’d never had COVID-19, some who had infections and recovered, and some who had long COVID (defined as symptoms that persist or develop at least four months after the initial infection).

Blood tests found clear differences in immune and hormone function in the people with long COVID, according to the study results, which were published in Nature.

“These findings are important — they can inform more sensitive testing for long COVID patients and personalized treatments for long COVID that have, until now, not had a proven scientific rationale,” said principal study investigator David Putrino, PhD, in a statement. Dr. Putrino is a professor and director of the Abilities Research Center at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and the Cohen Center for Recovery From Complex Chronic Illnesses, both in New York City.

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