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ESC Heart Fail ; 2020 Sep 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-763100


Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) causes a pandemic around the globe. Debilitating and even deadly complications have occurred to the millions. A recent study reported 31% of right ventricular dilation in the hospitalized COVID-19 patients, which is significantly associated with the mortality. Therefore, we sought to search for the lines of evidence in the literature that COVID-19 may contribute to right heart dysfunction. The relevant literature and data from PubMed, Embase, Cochrane Library databases, and Web of Science were searched using the MeSH terms including 'COVID-19', 'SARS-CoV-2', 'novel coronavirus pneumonia', 'novel coronavirus', 'right heart failure', 'right heart dysfunction', 'pulmonary hypertension', 'pulmonary embolism', and various combinations. The collected literature and data were sorted and summarized. Literature reports that angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) is the host receptor mediating the cell entry of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2. Clinical and experimental evidence shows that loss of function of ACE2 aggravates pulmonary hypertension and gain of function of ACE2 exerts protection on cardiopulmonary circulation. Moreover, the patients with COVID-19 are more susceptible to pulmonary embolism and severe pneumonia-induced acute respiratory distress syndrome. Therefore, COVID-19 may cause right heart dysfunction by inducing pulmonary hypertension, pulmonary embolism, and acute respiratory distress syndrome. Particular attention should be paid to the function of the right heart, the overlooked chamber in COVID-19. Blood gas analysis, laboratory test of cardiac injury markers, physical examination, and echocardiography should be performed to identify right heart failure as early as possible. Once the right heart failure is confirmed, the therapeutic modalities following the guidelines of European Society of Cardiology should be employed to reduce mortality.