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2.
J Clin Med ; 11(6)2022 Mar 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1742514

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Myocarditis, even in a severe and lethal form, may occur after COVID-19 mRNA (BNT162b2) vaccination. However, its pathway, morphomolecular characterization and treatment are still unknown. METHODS: Routine hematochemical screening, ECG, Holter monitoring, 2D echocardiogram cardiac magnetic resonance (CMR) and invasive cardiac studies (cardiac catheterization, selective coronary angiography, left ventriculography and left ventricular endomyocardial biopsy) are reported from three patients (39F-pt1, 78M-pt2, 52M-pt3) with severe compromise of conduction tissue (junctional rhythm and syncope, pt1) or cardiac function compromise (LVEF ≤ 35%, pt2 and pt3) after COVID-19 mRNA (BNT162b2). RESULTS: Hematochemical data and coronary angiography were normal in the patients studied. Histology showed in all three patients extensive myocardial infiltration of degranulated eosinophils and elevation of serum cationic protein directly responsible for cardiomyocyte damage. These findings demonstrate myocarditis hypersensitivity to some component of the vaccine (spike protein?) acting as a hapten to some macromolecules of cardiomyocytes. Steroid administration (prednisone, 1 mg/kg die for 3 days, followed by 0.33 mg/kg for 4 weeks) was followed by complete recovery of cardiac contractility in pt2 and pt3. CONCLUSIONS: Eosinophilic myocarditis is a possible adverse reaction to the mRNA COVID-19 vaccine. Its pathway is mediated by release of cationic protein and responds to short courses of steroid administration.

3.
Eur Radiol ; 2022 Mar 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1712233

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: To assess clinical and cardiac magnetic resonance (CMR) imaging features of patients with peri-myocarditis following Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccination. METHODS: We retrospectively collected a case series of 27 patients who underwent CMR in the clinical suspect of heart inflammation following COVID-19 vaccination, from 16 large tertiary centers. Our patient's cohort was relatively young (36.6 ± 16.8 years), predominately included males (n = 25/27) with few comorbidities and covered a catchment area of approximately 8 million vaccinated patients. RESULTS: CMR revealed typical mid-subepicardial non-ischemic late gadolinium enhancement (LGE) in 23 cases and matched positively with CMR T2 criteria of myocarditis. In 7 cases, typical hallmarks of acute pericarditis were present. Short-term follow-up (median = 20 days) from presentation was uneventful for 25/27 patients and unavailable in two cases. CONCLUSIONS: While establishing a causal relationship between peri-myocardial inflammation and vaccine administration can be challenging, our clinical experience suggests that CMR should be performed for diagnosis confirmation and to drive clinical decision-making and follow-up. KEY POINTS: • Acute onset of dyspnea, palpitations, or acute and persisting chest pain after COVID-19 vaccination should raise the suspicion of possible myocarditis or pericarditis, and patients should seek immediate medical attention and treatment to help recovery and avoid complications. • In case of elevated troponin levels and/or relevant ECG changes, cardiac magnetic resonance should be considered as the best non-invasive diagnostic option to confirm the diagnosis of myocarditis or pericarditis and to drive clinical decision-making and follow-up.

4.
European heart journal supplements : journal of the European Society of Cardiology ; 23(Suppl G), 2021.
Article in English | EuropePMC | ID: covidwho-1601783

ABSTRACT

Aims Cardiovascular sequelae in COVID-19 survivors remain largely unclear and can potentially go unrecognized. Reports on follow-up focused on cardiovascular evaluation after hospital discharge are currently scarce. Aim of this prospective study was to assess cardiovascular sequelae in previously hospitalized COVID-19 survivors. Methods and results The study was conducted at ‘Sapienza’ University of Rome—Policlinico ‘Umberto I’. After 2 months from discharge, n = 230 COVID-19 survivors underwent a follow-up visit at a dedicated ‘post-COVID Outpatient Clinic’. A cardiovascular evaluation including electrocardiogram (ECG), Troponin and echocardiography was performed. Further tests were requested when clinically indicated. Medical history, symptoms, arterial-blood gas, blood tests, chest computed tomography, and treatment of both in-hospital and follow-up evaluation were recorded. A 1-year telephone follow-up was performed. A total of 36 (16%) COVID-19 survivors showed persistence or delayed onset of cardiovascular disease at 2-months follow-up visit. Persistent condition was recorded in 62% of survivors who experienced an in-hospital cardiovascular disease. Delayed cardiovascular involvement included: myocarditis, pericarditis, ventricular disfunction, new onset of systemic hypertension and arrhythmias. At 1-year telephone follow-up, 105 (45%) survivors reported persistent symptoms, with dyspnoea and fatigue being the most frequent. 60% of survivors showed persistent chest CT abnormalities and among those 28% complained of persistent cardiopulmonary symptoms at long term follow-up. Conclusions Our preliminary data showed persistent or delayed onset of cardiovascular involvement (16%) at short-term follow-up and persistent symptoms (45%) at long-term follow-up. These findings suggest the need for monitoring COVID-19 survivors.

5.
Radiol Med ; 126(10): 1273-1281, 2021 Oct.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1305169

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE: The aim of the study was to prospectively evaluate the agreement between chest magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and computed tomography (CT) and to assess the diagnostic performance of chest MRI relative to that of CT during the follow-up of patients recovered from coronavirus disease 2019. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Fifty-two patients underwent both follow-up chest CT and MRI scans, evaluated for ground-glass opacities (GGOs), consolidation, interlobular septal thickening, fibrosis, pleural indentation, vessel enlargement, bronchiolar ectasia, and changes compared to prior CT scans. DWI/ADC was evaluated for signal abnormalities suspicious for inflammation. Agreement between CT and MRI was assessed with Cohen's k and weighted k. Measures of diagnostic accuracy of MRI were calculated. RESULTS: The agreement between CT and MRI was almost perfect for consolidation (k = 1.00) and change from prior CT (k = 0.857); substantial for predominant pattern (k = 0.764) and interlobular septal thickening (k = 0.734); and poor for GGOs (k = 0.339), fibrosis (k = 0.224), pleural indentation (k = 0.231), and vessel enlargement (k = 0.339). Meanwhile, the sensitivity of MRI was high for GGOs (1.00), interlobular septal thickening (1.00), and consolidation (1.00) but poor for fibrotic changes (0.18), pleural indentation (0.23), and vessel enlargement (0.50) and the specificity was overall high. DWI was positive in 46.0% of cases. CONCLUSIONS: The agreement between MRI and CT was overall good. MRI was very sensitive for GGOs, consolidation and interlobular septal thickening and overall specific for most findings. DWI could be a reputable imaging biomarker of inflammatory activity.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/complications , Inflammation/diagnostic imaging , Inflammation/etiology , Magnetic Resonance Imaging/methods , Tomography, X-Ray Computed/methods , Aged , COVID-19/physiopathology , Cohort Studies , Cross-Sectional Studies , Female , Follow-Up Studies , Humans , Inflammation/physiopathology , Lung/diagnostic imaging , Lung/physiopathology , Male , Middle Aged , Prospective Studies , Reproducibility of Results , SARS-CoV-2
6.
Int J Cardiol ; 339: 235-242, 2021 09 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1293831

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Cardiovascular disease (CVD) can occur in COVID-19 and has impact on clinical course. Data on CVD prevalence in hospitalized COVID-19 patients and sequelae in survivors is limited. Aim of this prospective study carried out on consecutive unselected COVID-19 population, was to assess: 1) CVD occurrence among hospitalized COVID-19 patients, 2) persistence or new onset of CVD at one-month and one-year follow-up. METHODS: Over 30 days n = 152 COVID-19 patients underwent cardiovascular evaluation. Standard electrocardiogram (ECG), Troponin and echocardiography were integrated by further tests when indicated. Medical history, arterial blood gas, blood tests, chest computed tomography and treatment were recorded. CVD was defined as the occurrence of a new condition during the hospitalization for COVID-19. Survivors attended a one-month follow-up visit and a one-year telephone follow-up. RESULTS: Forty-two patients (28%) experienced a wide spectrum of CVD with acute myocarditis being the most frequent. Death occurred in 32 patients (21%) and more frequently in patients who developed CVD (p = 0.032). After adjustment for confounders, CVD was independently associated with death occurrence. At one-month follow-up visit, 7 patients (9%) presented persistent or delayed CVD. At one-year telephone follow-up, 57 patients (48%) reported persistent symptoms. CONCLUSION: Cardiovascular evaluation in COVID-19 patients is crucial since the occurrence of CVD in hospitalized COVID-19 patients is common (28%), requires specific treatment and increases the risk of in-hospital mortality. Persistence or delayed presentation of CVD at 1-month (9%) and persistent symptoms at 1-year follow-up (48%) suggest the need for monitoring COVID-19 survivors.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Myocarditis , Follow-Up Studies , Hospitals , Humans , Prospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2
7.
J Cardiovasc Magn Reson ; 23(1): 68, 2021 06 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1262508

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Early detection of myocardial involvement can be relevant in coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients to timely target symptomatic treatment and decrease the occurrence of the cardiac sequelae of the infection. The aim of the present study was to assess the clinical value of cardiovascular magnetic resonance (CMR) in characterizing myocardial damage in active COVID-19 patients, through the correlation between qualitative and quantitative imaging biomarkers with clinical and laboratory evidence of myocardial injury. METHODS: In this retrospective observational cohort study, we enrolled 27 patients with diagnosis of active COVID-19 and suspected cardiac involvement, referred to our institution for CMR between March 2020 and January 2021. Clinical and laboratory characteristics, including high sensitivity troponin T (hs-cTnT), and CMR imaging data were obtained. Relationships between CMR parameters, clinical and laboratory findings were explored. Comparisons were made with age-, sex- and risk factor-matched control group of 27 individuals, including healthy controls and patients without other signs or history of myocardial disease, who underwent CMR examination between January 2020 and January 2021. RESULTS: The median (IQR) time interval between COVID-19 diagnosis and CMR examination was 20 (13.5-31.5) days. Hs-cTnT values were collected within 24 h prior to CMR and resulted abnormally increased in 18 patients (66.6%). A total of 20 cases (74%) presented tissue signal abnormalities, including increased myocardial native T1 (n = 11), myocardial T2 (n = 14) and extracellular volume fraction (ECV) (n = 10), late gadolinium enhancement (LGE) (n = 12) or pericardial enhancement (n = 2). A CMR diagnosis of myocarditis was established in 9 (33.3%), pericarditis in 2 (7.4%) and myocardial infarction with non-obstructive coronary arteries in 3 (11.11%) patients. T2 mapping values showed a moderate positive linear correlation with Hs-cTnT (r = 0.58; p = 0.002). A high degree positive linear correlation between ECV and Hs-cTnT was also found (r 0.77; p < 0.001). CONCLUSIONS: CMR allows in vivo recognition and characterization of myocardial damage in a cohort of selected COVID-19 individuals by means of a multiparametric scanning protocol including conventional imaging and T1-T2 mapping sequences. Abnormal T2 mapping was the most commonly abnormality observed in our cohort and positively correlated with hs-cTnT values, reflecting the predominant edematous changes characterizing the active phase of disease.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/complications , Cardiomyopathies/complications , Cardiomyopathies/diagnostic imaging , Magnetic Resonance Imaging/methods , Adult , Age Factors , Cohort Studies , Heart/diagnostic imaging , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Retrospective Studies , Risk Factors , SARS-CoV-2 , Sex Factors
8.
Insights Imaging ; 12(1): 28, 2021 Feb 24.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1099894

ABSTRACT

Clinical manifestations of COVID-19 patients are dominated by respiratory symptoms, but cardiac complications are commonly observed and associated with increased morbidity and mortality. Underlying pathological mechanisms of cardiac injury are still not entirely elucidated, likely depending on a combination of direct viral damage with an uncontrolled immune activation. Cardiac involvement in these patients ranges from a subtle myocardial injury to cardiogenic shock. Advanced cardiac imaging plays a key role in discriminating the broad spectrum of differential diagnoses. Present article aims to review the value of advanced multimodality imaging in patients with suspected SARS-CoV-2-related cardiovascular involvement and its essential role in risk stratification and tailored treatment strategies. Based on our experience, we also sought to suggest possible diagnostic algorithms for the rationale utilization of advanced imaging tools, such as cardiac CT and CMR, avoiding unnecessary examinations and diagnostic delays.

9.
Eur Heart J Cardiovasc Imaging ; 22(7): 728-731, 2021 06 22.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-978588

ABSTRACT

We proposed a combined cardiothoracic-MRI (CaTh-MRI) protocol for the comprehensive assessment of cardiovascular structures, lung parenchyma, and pulmonary arterial tree, in COVID-19 patients with progressive worsening of clinical conditions and/or suspicion of acute-onset myocardial inflammation. A 25-minutes fast protocol was also conceived for unstable or uncooperative patients by restricting the number of sequences to those necessary to rule out myocardial and to assess pulmonary involvement. In patients requiring CMR characterization of myocardial damage, the addition of lung and thoracic vessel evaluation is of clinical benefit at a minimal time expense.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Humans , Lung/diagnostic imaging , Magnetic Resonance Imaging , Pulmonary Artery/diagnostic imaging , SARS-CoV-2
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