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Journal of Hypertension ; 40:e172, 2022.
Article in English | EMBASE | ID: covidwho-1937717


Objective: Endothelial dysfunction is thought to underlie many of the complications of COVID-19 but to what degree this persists after recovery is unknown. Here we examine endothelial function in subjects previously hospitalized with COVID- 19, those with mild symptoms who were not hospitalized and negative controls (absence of SARS-CoV-2-antibodies). Endothelial function was measured as pulse wave response to the β2 adrenergic agonist salbutamol (PWRS) which is mediated through the nitric oxide - cyclic guanosine monophosphate pathway (NO-cGMP). Design and method: Echocardiography was used to exclude subjects with cardiac abnormalities. Tonometry of the radial artery (SphygmoCor, AtCor Medical, Sydney, Australia) was performed in duplicate by a single operator before and after inhalation of 200 mcg of salbutamol using a spacer device. The PWRS was taken as the change from baseline in augmentation index (Aix) as calculated by the SphygmoCor system. In a sub-sample, PWRS was assessed in the presence and absence of the phosphodiesterase type 5 inhibitor sildenafil which inhibits the breakdown of cGMP. Results: We recruited 88 subjects (49 men) aged 47.9 ± 14.3 (mean ± SD) years of whom 32 were previously hospitalized with COVID-19 (~6 months). Subjects previously hospitalized with COVID-19 were all previously assessed in a dedicated pulmonary clinic. Age, gender, BMI, smoking status, diabetes and estimated 10-year cardiovascular risk (Q-RISKâ3) were similar between the groups. Administration of salbutamol reduced AIx in controls and those with mild COVID-19 but produced an increase in AIx in previously hospitalized COVID-19 cases (mean [95% CI]): -2.85 [-5.52, -0.188] %, -2.32 [-5.17,0.54] %, and 3.03 [0.06, 6.00] % respectively, P = 0.017 between the groups. In a sub-sample (11 hospitalized and 11 non-hospitalized) the PWRS was measured again 30 minutes after oral administration of sildenafil 25 mg. This produced a greater reduction in AIx: -5.28 [-9.00, -1.54] % in non-hospitalized and a reduction: -3.90 [-7.60, -0.21] % in hospitalized patients, and an overall improvement in the PWRS (P = 0.006). Conclusions: In subjects previously hospitalized with severe COVID-19, endothelial function is impaired for many months after hospital discharge and the impaired NO-cGMP mediated vasodilation may be reversed by sildenafil.

European Heart Journal ; 42(SUPPL 1):876, 2021.
Article in English | EMBASE | ID: covidwho-1554146


Introduction: Presence of heart failure is associated with a poor prognosis in patients with COVID-19. The aim of the present study was to examine whether first-phase ejection fraction (EF1), the ejection fraction measured in early systole up to the time of peak aortic velocity, a sensitive measure of pre-clinical heart failure, is associated with survival in patients hospitalised with COVID-19. Methods: A retrospective outcome study was performed in patients hospitalised with COVID-19 who underwent echocardiography (n=380) at the West Branch of the Union Hospital, Wuhan, China and in patients admitted to King's Health Partners in South London UK. Association of EF1 with survival was performed using Cox proportional hazards regression. EF1 was compared in patients with COVID-19 and in historical controls with similar co-morbidities (n=266) who had undergone echocardiography before the COVID-19 pandemic. Results: In patients with COVID-19, EF1 was a strong predictor of survival in each patient group (Wuhan and London). In the combined group, EF1 was a stronger predictor of survival than other clinical, laboratory and echocardiographic characteristics including age, co-morbidities and biochemical markers (figure 1). A cut-off value of 25% for EF1 gave a hazard ratio of 5.23 (95% CI: 2.85-9.60, p<0.001) unadjusted and 4.83 (95% CI: 2.35-9.95, p<0.001) when adjusted for demographics, co-morbidities, hs-cTnI and CRP (figure 2). EF1 was similar in patients with and without COVID-19 (23.2±7.3 vs 22.0±7.6%, p=0.092, adjusted for prevalence of risk factors and co-morbidities). Conclusion: Impaired first-phase ejection fraction is strongly associated with mortality in COVID-19 and probably reflects pre-existing, pre-clinical heart failure.