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Am J Cardiol ; 159: 129-137, 2021 Nov 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1347476


During the clinical care of hospitalized patients with COVID-19, diminished QRS amplitude on the surface electrocardiogram (ECG) was observed to precede clinical decompensation, culminating in death. This prompted investigation into the prognostic utility and specificity of low QRS complex amplitude (LoQRS) in COVID-19. We retrospectively analyzed consecutive adults admitted to a telemetry service with SARS-CoV-2 (n = 140) or influenza (n = 281) infection with a final disposition-death or discharge. LoQRS was defined as a composite of QRS amplitude <5 mm or <10 mm in the limb or precordial leads, respectively, or a ≥50% decrease in QRS amplitude on follow-up ECG during hospitalization. LoQRS was more prevalent in patients with COVID-19 than influenza (24.3% vs 11.7%, p = 0.001), and in patients who died than survived with either COVID-19 (48.1% vs 10.2%, p <0.001) or influenza (38.9% vs 9.9%, p <0.001). LoQRS was independently associated with mortality in patients with COVID-19 when adjusted for baseline clinical variables (odds ratio [OR] 11.5, 95% confidence interval [CI] 3.9 to 33.8, p <0.001), presenting and peak troponin, D-dimer, C-reactive protein, albumin, intubation, and vasopressor requirement (OR 13.8, 95% CI 1.3 to 145.5, p = 0.029). The median time to death in COVID-19 from the first ECG with LoQRS was 52 hours (interquartile range 18 to 130). Dynamic QRS amplitude diminution is a strong independent predictor of death over not only the course of COVID-19 infection, but also influenza infection. In conclusion, this finding may serve as a pragmatic prognostication tool reflecting evolving clinical changes during hospitalization, over a potentially actionable time interval for clinical reassessment.

Arrhythmias, Cardiac/physiopathology , Arrhythmias, Cardiac/virology , COVID-19/complications , Electrocardiography , Influenza, Human/complications , Pneumonia, Viral/complications , Aged , COVID-19/mortality , Female , Hospital Mortality , Hospitalization , Humans , Influenza, Human/mortality , Male , Middle Aged , New York City/epidemiology , Pneumonia, Viral/mortality , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , Prognosis , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2
Circ Arrhythm Electrophysiol ; 13(11): e008920, 2020 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-975764


BACKGROUND: Patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) who develop cardiac injury are reported to experience higher rates of malignant cardiac arrhythmias. However, little is known about these arrhythmias-their frequency, the underlying mechanisms, and their impact on mortality. METHODS: We extracted data from a registry (NCT04358029) regarding consecutive inpatients with confirmed COVID-19 who were receiving continuous telemetric ECG monitoring and had a definitive disposition of hospital discharge or death. Between patients who died versus discharged, we compared a primary composite end point of cardiac arrest from ventricular tachycardia/fibrillation or bradyarrhythmias such as atrioventricular block. RESULTS: Among 800 patients with COVID-19 at Mount Sinai Hospital with definitive dispositions, 140 patients had telemetric monitoring, and either died (52) or were discharged (88). The median (interquartile range) age was 61 years (48-74); 73% men; and ethnicity was White in 34%. Comorbidities included hypertension in 61%, coronary artery disease in 25%, ventricular arrhythmia history in 1.4%, and no significant comorbidities in 16%. Compared with discharged patients, those who died had elevated peak troponin I levels (0.27 versus 0.02 ng/mL) and more primary end point events (17% versus 4%, P=0.01)-a difference driven by tachyarrhythmias. Fatal tachyarrhythmias invariably occurred in the presence of severe metabolic imbalance, while atrioventricular block was largely an independent primary event. CONCLUSIONS: Hospitalized patients with COVID-19 who die experience malignant cardiac arrhythmias more often than those surviving to discharge. However, these events represent a minority of cardiovascular deaths, and ventricular tachyarrhythmias are mainly associated with severe metabolic derangement. Registration: URL:; Unique identifier: NCT04358029.

Arrhythmias, Cardiac/epidemiology , COVID-19/epidemiology , Heart Conduction System/physiopathology , Heart Rate , Action Potentials , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Arrhythmias, Cardiac/diagnosis , Arrhythmias, Cardiac/mortality , Arrhythmias, Cardiac/physiopathology , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/mortality , COVID-19/physiopathology , Female , Hospital Mortality , Hospitalization , Humans , Incidence , Male , Middle Aged , New York City/epidemiology , Prognosis , Registries , Risk Assessment , Risk Factors , Time Factors , Young Adult
Pacing Clin Electrophysiol ; 43(10): 1139-1148, 2020 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-729341


INTRODUCTION: Recent studies have described several cardiovascular manifestations of COVID-19 including myocardial ischemia, myocarditis, thromboembolism, and malignant arrhythmias. However, to our knowledge, syncope in COVID-19 patients has not been systematically evaluated. We sought to characterize syncope and/or presyncope in COVID-19. METHODS: This is a retrospective analysis of consecutive patients hospitalized with laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 with either syncope or presyncope. This "study" group (n = 37) was compared with an age and gender-matched cohort of patients without syncope ("control") (n = 40). Syncope was attributed to various categories. We compared telemetry data, treatments received, and clinical outcomes between the two groups. RESULTS: Among 1000 COVID-19 patients admitted to the Mount Sinai Hospital, the incidence of syncope/presyncope was 3.7%. The median age of the entire cohort was 69 years (range 26-89+ years) and 55% were men. Major comorbidities included hypertension, diabetes, and coronary artery disease. Syncopal episodes were categorized as (a) unspecified in 59.4% patients, (b) neurocardiogenic in 15.6% patients, (c) hypotensive in 12.5% patients, and (d) cardiopulmonary in 3.1% patients with fall versus syncope and seizure versus syncope in 2 of 32 (6.3%) and 1 of 33 (3.1%) patients, respectively. Compared with the "control" group, there were no significant differences in both admission and peak blood levels of d-dimer, troponin-I, and CRP in the "study" group. Additionally, there were no differences in arrhythmias or death between both groups. CONCLUSIONS: Syncope/presyncope in patients hospitalized with COVID-19 is uncommon and is infrequently associated with a cardiac etiology or associated with adverse outcomes compared to those who do not present with these symptoms.

Coronavirus Infections/complications , Pneumonia, Viral/complications , Syncope/virology , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Betacoronavirus , COVID-19 , Comorbidity , Female , Hospitalization , Humans , Incidence , Male , Middle Aged , New York City/epidemiology , Pandemics , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2 , Syncope/epidemiology , Telemetry