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Front Cardiovasc Med ; 8: 764599, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1598692


Background: Acute myocardial damage is common in severe COVID-19. Post-mortem studies have implicated microvascular thrombosis, with cardiovascular magnetic resonance (CMR) demonstrating a high prevalence of myocardial infarction and myocarditis-like scar. The microcirculatory sequelae are incompletely characterized. Perfusion CMR can quantify the stress myocardial blood flow (MBF) and identify its association with infarction and myocarditis. Objectives: To determine the impact of the severe hospitalized COVID-19 on global and regional myocardial perfusion in recovered patients. Methods: A case-control study of previously hospitalized, troponin-positive COVID-19 patients was undertaken. The results were compared with a propensity-matched, pre-COVID chest pain cohort (referred for clinical CMR; angiography subsequently demonstrating unobstructed coronary arteries) and 27 healthy volunteers (HV). The analysis used visual assessment for the regional perfusion defects and AI-based segmentation to derive the global and regional stress and rest MBF. Results: Ninety recovered post-COVID patients {median age 64 [interquartile range (IQR) 54-71] years, 83% male, 44% requiring the intensive care unit (ICU)} underwent adenosine-stress perfusion CMR at a median of 61 (IQR 29-146) days post-discharge. The mean left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) was 67 ± 10%; 10 (11%) with impaired LVEF. Fifty patients (56%) had late gadolinium enhancement (LGE); 15 (17%) had infarct-pattern, 31 (34%) had non-ischemic, and 4 (4.4%) had mixed pattern LGE. Thirty-two patients (36%) had adenosine-induced regional perfusion defects, 26 out of 32 with at least one segment without prior infarction. The global stress MBF in post-COVID patients was similar to the age-, sex- and co-morbidities of the matched controls (2.53 ± 0.77 vs. 2.52 ± 0.79 ml/g/min, p = 0.10), though lower than HV (3.00 ± 0.76 ml/g/min, p< 0.01). Conclusions: After severe hospitalized COVID-19 infection, patients who attended clinical ischemia testing had little evidence of significant microvascular disease at 2 months post-discharge. The high prevalence of regional inducible ischemia and/or infarction (nearly 40%) may suggest that occult coronary disease is an important putative mechanism for troponin elevation in this cohort. This should be considered hypothesis-generating for future studies which combine ischemia and anatomical assessment.

JACC Cardiovasc Imaging ; 14(11): 2155-2166, 2021 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1225278


OBJECTIVES: The purpose of this study was to detect cardiovascular changes after mild severe acute respiratory syndrome-coronavirus-2 infection. BACKGROUND: Concern exists that mild coronavirus disease 2019 may cause myocardial and vascular disease. METHODS: Participants were recruited from COVIDsortium, a 3-hospital prospective study of 731 health care workers who underwent first-wave weekly symptom, polymerase chain reaction, and serology assessment over 4 months, with seroconversion in 21.5% (n = 157). At 6 months post-infection, 74 seropositive and 75 age-, sex-, and ethnicity-matched seronegative control subjects were recruited for cardiovascular phenotyping (comprehensive phantom-calibrated cardiovascular magnetic resonance and blood biomarkers). Analysis was blinded, using objective artificial intelligence analytics where available. RESULTS: A total of 149 subjects (mean age 37 years, range 18 to 63 years, 58% women) were recruited. Seropositive infections had been mild with case definition, noncase definition, and asymptomatic disease in 45 (61%), 18 (24%), and 11 (15%), respectively, with 1 person hospitalized (for 2 days). Between seropositive and seronegative groups, there were no differences in cardiac structure (left ventricular volumes, mass, atrial area), function (ejection fraction, global longitudinal shortening, aortic distensibility), tissue characterization (T1, T2, extracellular volume fraction mapping, late gadolinium enhancement) or biomarkers (troponin, N-terminal pro-B-type natriuretic peptide). With abnormal defined by the 75 seronegatives (2 SDs from mean, e.g., ejection fraction <54%, septal T1 >1,072 ms, septal T2 >52.4 ms), individuals had abnormalities including reduced ejection fraction (n = 2, minimum 50%), T1 elevation (n = 6), T2 elevation (n = 9), late gadolinium enhancement (n = 13, median 1%, max 5% of myocardium), biomarker elevation (borderline troponin elevation in 4; all N-terminal pro-B-type natriuretic peptide normal). These were distributed equally between seropositive and seronegative individuals. CONCLUSIONS: Cardiovascular abnormalities are no more common in seropositive versus seronegative otherwise healthy, workforce representative individuals 6 months post-mild severe acute respiratory syndrome-coronavirus-2 infection.

COVID-19 , Cardiovascular Abnormalities , Adolescent , Adult , Artificial Intelligence , Case-Control Studies , Contrast Media , Female , Gadolinium , Health Personnel , Humans , Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Cine , Male , Middle Aged , Myocardium , Predictive Value of Tests , Prospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2 , Ventricular Function, Left , Young Adult
Eur Heart J ; 42(19): 1866-1878, 2021 05 14.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1087735


BACKGROUND: Troponin elevation is common in hospitalized COVID-19 patients, but underlying aetiologies are ill-defined. We used multi-parametric cardiovascular magnetic resonance (CMR) to assess myocardial injury in recovered COVID-19 patients. METHODS AND RESULTS: One hundred and forty-eight patients (64 ± 12 years, 70% male) with severe COVID-19 infection [all requiring hospital admission, 48 (32%) requiring ventilatory support] and troponin elevation discharged from six hospitals underwent convalescent CMR (including adenosine stress perfusion if indicated) at median 68 days. Left ventricular (LV) function was normal in 89% (ejection fraction 67% ± 11%). Late gadolinium enhancement and/or ischaemia was found in 54% (80/148). This comprised myocarditis-like scar in 26% (39/148), infarction and/or ischaemia in 22% (32/148) and dual pathology in 6% (9/148). Myocarditis-like injury was limited to three or less myocardial segments in 88% (35/40) of cases with no associated LV dysfunction; of these, 30% had active myocarditis. Myocardial infarction was found in 19% (28/148) and inducible ischaemia in 26% (20/76) of those undergoing stress perfusion (including 7 with both infarction and ischaemia). Of patients with ischaemic injury pattern, 66% (27/41) had no past history of coronary disease. There was no evidence of diffuse fibrosis or oedema in the remote myocardium (T1: COVID-19 patients 1033 ± 41 ms vs. matched controls 1028 ± 35 ms; T2: COVID-19 46 ± 3 ms vs. matched controls 47 ± 3 ms). CONCLUSIONS: During convalescence after severe COVID-19 infection with troponin elevation, myocarditis-like injury can be encountered, with limited extent and minimal functional consequence. In a proportion of patients, there is evidence of possible ongoing localized inflammation. A quarter of patients had ischaemic heart disease, of which two-thirds had no previous history. Whether these observed findings represent pre-existing clinically silent disease or de novo COVID-19-related changes remain undetermined. Diffuse oedema or fibrosis was not detected.

COVID-19 , Myocarditis , Contrast Media , Female , Gadolinium , Humans , Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Cine , Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy , Male , Myocarditis/diagnostic imaging , Myocardium , Predictive Value of Tests , SARS-CoV-2 , Troponin , Ventricular Function, Left