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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
Lancet Respir Med ; 9(1): 107-116, 2021 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-939393


A compelling body of evidence points to pulmonary thrombosis and thromboembolism as a key feature of COVID-19. As the pandemic spread across the globe over the past few months, a timely call to arms was issued by a team of clinicians to consider the prospect of long-lasting pulmonary fibrotic damage and plan for structured follow-up. However, the component of post-thrombotic sequelae has been less widely considered. Although the long-term outcomes of COVID-19 are not known, should pulmonary vascular sequelae prove to be clinically significant, these have the potential to become a public health problem. In this Personal View, we propose a proactive follow-up strategy to evaluate residual clot burden, small vessel injury, and potential haemodynamic sequelae. A nuanced and physiological approach to follow-up imaging that looks beyond the clot, at the state of perfusion of lung tissue, is proposed as a key triage tool, with the potential to inform therapeutic strategies.

COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/diagnostic imaging , Computed Tomography Angiography/methods , Pulmonary Artery/diagnostic imaging , Pulmonary Embolism/diagnostic imaging , Pulmonary Fibrosis/diagnostic imaging , Thrombosis/diagnostic imaging , Ventilation-Perfusion Scan/methods , Aftercare , COVID-19/physiopathology , Chronic Disease , Contrast Media , Humans , Hypertension, Pulmonary/diagnostic imaging , Hypertension, Pulmonary/etiology , Hypertension, Pulmonary/physiopathology , Lung/blood supply , Lung/diagnostic imaging , Lung/physiopathology , Perfusion Imaging , Pulmonary Embolism/etiology , Pulmonary Embolism/physiopathology , Pulmonary Fibrosis/etiology , Pulmonary Fibrosis/physiopathology , Respiratory Function Tests , SARS-CoV-2 , Thrombosis/etiology , Thrombosis/physiopathology , Tomography, Emission-Computed, Single-Photon/methods , Tomography, X-Ray Computed/methods