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1.
Front Med (Lausanne) ; 9: 906665, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1933708

ABSTRACT

Aims: While COVID-19 affects the cardiovascular system, the potential clinical impact of cardiovascular biomarkers on predicting outcomes in COVID-19 patients is still unknown. Therefore, to investigate this issue we analyzed the prognostic potential of cardiac biomarkers on in-hospital and long-term post-discharge mortality of patients with COVID-19 pneumonia. Methods: Serum soluble ST2, VCAM-1, and hs-TnI were evaluated upon admission in 280 consecutive patients hospitalized with COVID-19-associated pneumonia in a single, tertiary care center. Patient clinical and laboratory characteristics and the concentration of biomarkers were correlated with in-hospital [Hospital stay: 11 days (10; 14)] and post-discharge all-cause mortality at 1 year follow-up [FU: 354 days (342; 361)]. Results: 11 patients died while hospitalized for COVID-19 (3.9%), and 11 patients died during the 1-year post-discharge follow-up period (n = 11, 4.1%). Using multivariate analysis, VCAM-1 was shown to predict mortality during the hospital period (HR 1.081, CI 95% 1.035;1.129, p = 0.017), but not ST2 or hs-TnI. In contrast, during one-year FU post hospital discharge, ST2 (HR 1.006, 95% CI 1.002;1.009, p < 0.001) and hs-TnI (HR 1.362, 95% CI 1.050;1.766, p = 0.024) predicted mortality, although not VCAM-1. Conclusion: In patients hospitalized with Covid-19 pneumonia, elevated levels of VCAM-1 at admission were associated with in-hospital mortality, while ST2 and hs-TnI might predict post-discharge mortality in long term follow-up.

2.
J Pers Med ; 12(5)2022 May 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1884252

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Gender-specific differences in the outcome of COVID-19 patients requiring intensive care treatment have been reported. However, a potential association with ICU therapy remains elusive. METHODS: A total of 224 consecutive patients (63 women) treated for severe COVID-19 disease requiring mechanical ventilation were screened for the study. After propensity score matching for gender, 40 men and 40 women were included in the study. Comparative analysis was conducted for laboratory parameters, ICU therapy and complications (pulmonary embolism, thrombosis, stroke, and ventricular arrhythmias), and outcome (mortality). RESULTS: Male patients had significantly higher levels of CRP (p = 0.012), interleukin-6 (p = 0.020) and creatinine (p = 0.027), while pH levels (p = 0.014) were significantly lower compared to females. Male patients had longer intubation times (p = 0.017), longer ICU stays (p = 0.022) and higher rates of catecholamine dependence (p = 0.037). Outcome, complications and ICU therapy did not differ significantly between both groups. CONCLUSION: The present study represents the first matched comparison of male and female COVID-19 patients requiring intensive care treatment. After propensity matching, male patients still displayed a higher disease severity. This was reflected in higher rates of vasopressors, duration of ICU stay and duration of intubation. In contrast, no significant differences were observed in mortality rates, organ replacement therapy and complications during ICU stay.

3.
Front Med (Lausanne) ; 9: 808221, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1817974

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Severe COVID-19 pneumonia requiring intensive care treatment remains a clinical challenge to date. Dexamethasone was reported as a promising treatment option, leading to a reduction of mortality rates in severe COVID-19 disease. However, the effect of dexamethasone treatment on cardiac injury and pulmonary embolism remains largely elusive. METHODS: In total 178 critically ill COVID-19 patients requiring intensive care treatment and mechanical ventilation were recruited in three European medical centres and included in the present retrospective study. One hundred thirteen patients (63.5%) were treated with dexamethasone for a median duration of 10 days (IQR 9-10). Sixty five patients (36.5%) constituted the non-dexamethasone control group. RESULTS: While peak inflammatory markers were reduced by dexamethasone treatment, the therapy also led to a significant reduction in peak troponin levels (231 vs. 700% indicated as relative to cut off value, p = 0.001). Similar, dexamethasone resulted in significantly decreased peak D-Dimer levels (2.16 mg/l vs. 6.14 mg/l, p = 0.002) reflected by a significant reduction in pulmonary embolism rate (4.4 vs. 20.0%, p = 0.001). The antithrombotic effect of dexamethasone treatment was also evident in the presence of therapeutic anticoagulation (pulmonary embolism rate: 6 vs. 34.4%, p < 0.001). Of note, no significant changes in baseline characteristics were observed between the dexamethasone and non-dexamethasone group. CONCLUSION: In severe COVID-19, anti-inflammatory effects of dexamethasone treatment seem to be associated with a significant reduction in myocardial injury. Similar, a significant decrease in pulmonary embolism, independent of anticoagulation, was evident, emphasizing the beneficial effect of dexamethasone treatment in severe COVID-19.

4.
Frontiers in cardiovascular medicine ; 8, 2021.
Article in English | EuropePMC | ID: covidwho-1564313

ABSTRACT

Aims: Thromboembolic events, including stroke, are typical complications of COVID-19. Whether arrhythmias, frequently described in severe COVID-19, are disease-specific and thus promote strokes is unclear. We investigated the occurrence of arrhythmias and stroke during rhythm monitoring in critically ill patients with COVID-19, compared with severe pneumonia of other origins. Methods and Results: This retrospective study included 120 critically ill patients requiring mechanical ventilation in three European tertiary hospitals, including n =60 COVID-19, matched according to risk factors for the occurrence of arrhythmias in n = 60 patients from a retrospective consecutive cohort of severe pneumonia of other origins. Arrhythmias, mainly atrial fibrillation (AF), were frequent in COVID-19. However, when compared with non-COVID-19, no difference was observed with respect to ventricular tachycardias (VT) and relevant bradyarrhythmias (VT 10.0 vs. 8.4 %, p = ns and asystole 5.0 vs. 3.3%, p = ns) with consequent similar rates of cardiopulmonary resuscitation (6.7 vs. 10.0%, p = ns). AF was even more common in non-COVID-19 (AF 18.3 vs. 43.3%, p = 0.003;newly onset AF 10.0 vs. 30.0%, p = 0.006), which resulted in a higher need for electrical cardioversion (6.7 vs. 20.0%, p = 0.029). Despite these findings and comparable rates of therapeutic anticoagulation (TAC), the incidence of stroke was higher in COVID-19 (6.7.% vs. 0.0, p = 0.042). These events also happened in the absence of AF (50%) and with TAC (50%). Conclusions: Arrhythmias were common in severe COVID-19, consisting mainly of AF, yet less frequent than in matched pneumonia of other origins. A contrasting higher incidence of stroke independent of arrhythmias also observed with TAC, seems to be an arrhythmia-unrelated disease-specific feature of COVID-19.

5.
PLoS One ; 16(10): e0257982, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1468163

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: J-waves represent a common finding in routine ECGs (5-6%) and are closely linked to ventricular tachycardias. While arrhythmias and non-specific ECG alterations are a frequent finding in COVID-19, an analysis of J-wave incidence in acute COVID-19 is lacking. METHODS: A total of 386 patients consecutively, hospitalized due to acute COVID-19 pneumonia were included in this retrospective analysis. Admission ECGs were analyzed, screened for J-waves and correlated to clinical characteristics and 28-day mortality. RESULTS: J-waves were present in 12.2% of patients. Factors associated with the presence of J-waves were old age, female sex, a history of stroke and/or heart failure, high CRP levels as well as a high BMI. Mortality rates were significantly higher in patients with J-waves in the admission ECG compared to the non-J-wave cohort (J-wave: 14.9% vs. non-J-wave 3.8%, p = 0.001). After adjusting for confounders using a multivariable cox regression model, the incidence of J-waves was an independent predictor of mortality at 28-days (OR 2.76 95% CI: 1.15-6.63; p = 0.023). J-waves disappeared or declined in 36.4% of COVID-19 survivors with available ECGs for 6-8 months follow-up. CONCLUSION: J-waves are frequently and often transiently found in the admission ECG of patients hospitalized with acute COVID-19. Furthermore, they seem to be an independent predictor of 28-day mortality.


Subject(s)
Arrhythmias, Cardiac/physiopathology , COVID-19/physiopathology , Tachycardia, Ventricular/physiopathology , Aged , Arrhythmias, Cardiac/mortality , COVID-19/mortality , Electrocardiography , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Prognosis , Retrospective Studies , Tachycardia, Ventricular/mortality
6.
Front Cardiovasc Med ; 8: 623076, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1110291

ABSTRACT

Since its first appearance in December 2019, the novel Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 (Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2) has spread throughout the world at rapid pace causing the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19). Originating in the Chinese province Hubei, more than 91.8 million people globally have now been infected with the coronavirus and more than 1.966.000 patients have died thus far from Covid-19 (as of January 13th 2021). The virus spreads primarily by droplet infection as well as via aerosols during close physical contact. Particularly in medical examinations with close physical contact between examiner and patient, like echocardiography, the risk of contracting the virus is increased. Therefore, the use of personal protective equipment is recommended for the protection of patients and medical personnel alike. In this article, the current recommendations of international professional associations on the use of personal protective equipment and their local implementation are presented.

7.
ESC Heart Fail ; 8(1): 37-46, 2021 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1064350

ABSTRACT

AIMS: COVID-19, a respiratory viral disease causing severe pneumonia, also affects the heart and other organs. Whether its cardiac involvement is a specific feature consisting of myocarditis, or simply due to microvascular injury and systemic inflammation, is yet unclear and presently debated. Because myocardial injury is also common in other kinds of pneumonias, we investigated and compared such occurrence in severe pneumonias due to COVID-19 and other causes. METHODS AND RESULTS: We analysed data from 156 critically ill patients requiring mechanical ventilation in four European tertiary hospitals, including all n = 76 COVID-19 patients with severe disease course requiring at least ventilatory support, matched to n = 76 from a retrospective consecutive patient cohort of severe pneumonias of other origin (matched for age, gender, and type of ventilator therapy). When compared to the non-COVID-19, mortality (COVID-19 = 38.2% vs. non-COVID-19 = 51.3%, P = 0.142) and impairment of systolic function were not significantly different. Surprisingly, myocardial injury was even more frequent in non-COVID-19 (96.4% vs. 78.1% P = 0.004). Although inflammatory activity [C-reactive protein (CRP) and interleukin-6] was indifferent, d-dimer and thromboembolic incidence (COVID-19 = 23.7% vs. non-COVID-19 = 5.3%, P = 0.002) driven by pulmonary embolism rates (COVID-19 = 17.1% vs. non-COVID-19 = 2.6%, P = 0.005) were higher. CONCLUSIONS: Myocardial injury was frequent in severe COVID-19 requiring mechanical ventilation, but still less frequent than in similarly severe pneumonias of other origin, indicating that cardiac involvement may not be a specific feature of COVID-19. While mortality was also similar, COVID-19 is characterized with increased thrombogenicity and high pulmonary embolism rates.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/complications , Cardiomyopathies/etiology , Acute Disease , Aged , COVID-19/mortality , COVID-19/therapy , Cardiomyopathies/mortality , Case-Control Studies , Female , Humans , Intensive Care Units/statistics & numerical data , Length of Stay/statistics & numerical data , Male , Myocarditis/etiology , Myocarditis/mortality , Pneumonia/complications , Respiration, Artificial , Retrospective Studies , Tertiary Care Centers
8.
Herz ; 45(8): 715-718, 2020 Dec.
Article in German | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-932491

ABSTRACT

Since its first appearance in December 2019, the novel severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has spread all over the world at a rapid pace causing the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Originating from the Chinese province Hubei, more than 29.4 million people globally have now been confirmed to have contracted the coronavirus and more than 930,000 patients have died so far from COVID-19 (situation as of 15 September 2020). The virus is mainly spread during close contact by small droplets and aerosols. During the close contact in medical examinations, such as echocardiography, the risk of contracting the virus is increased. Therefore, the use of personal protective equipment is recommended for the protection of patients and medical personnel alike. This article summarizes the current recommendations of international societies and describes the local implementation in Austria.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections , Coronavirus , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral , Austria , Betacoronavirus , COVID-19 , Echocardiography , Humans , SARS-CoV-2
10.
J Thromb Thrombolysis ; 51(1): 226-231, 2021 Jan.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-648995

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection has been linked to a higher risk of mortality compared to influenza, which is mainly due to severe secondary diseases, such as acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). In turn, ARDS is characterized by an acute inflammation and an excessive activity of the coagulation cascade, rising the vulnerability for venous thromboembolic events. In order to investigate the relation of inflammation and the influence of coagulation factors on their release, human peripheral mononuclear blood cells (PBMCs) were treated with autologous serum, heparinized plasma and different doses of fibrin. Thereafter, the concentration of pro-inflammatory cytokines and chemokines in the secretome of PBMCs was measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Our analyses revealed autologous serum to significantly increase the secretion of cytokines and chemokines after 24 h of incubation time. Furthermore, the addition of fibrin markedly increased the secretion of cytokines and chemokines by PBMCs in a dose-dependent manner. Consequently, in accordance with previous studies, our study outlines that anti-coagulation may constitute a promising tool for the treatment of SARS-CoV-2, reducing both, the cytokine storm, as well as the risk for thrombotic complications.


Subject(s)
Blood Coagulation , COVID-19/therapy , Cytokine Release Syndrome , Fibrin , Inflammation , Blood Coagulation/drug effects , Blood Coagulation/immunology , COVID-19/blood , COVID-19/drug therapy , COVID-19/immunology , Cells, Cultured , Chemokines/immunology , Cytokine Release Syndrome/blood , Cytokine Release Syndrome/drug therapy , Cytokine Release Syndrome/etiology , Dose-Response Relationship, Drug , Fibrin/immunology , Fibrin/pharmacology , Fibrinolytic Agents/pharmacology , Heparin/pharmacology , Humans , Immunization, Passive , Inflammation/blood , Inflammation/therapy , Leukocytes, Mononuclear/drug effects , SARS-CoV-2
11.
J Clin Med ; 9(7)2020 Jul 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-646862

ABSTRACT

Coronavirus disease 19 (COVID-19) and its associated restrictions could affect ischemic times in patients with ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI). The objective of this study was to investigate the influence of the COVID-19 outbreak on ischemic times in consecutive all-comer STEMI patients. We included consecutive STEMI patients (n = 163, median age: 61 years, 27% women) who were referred to seven tertiary care hospitals across Austria for primary percutaneous coronary intervention between 24 February 2020 (calendar week 9) and 5 April 2020 (calendar week 14). The number of patients, total ischemic times and door-to-balloon times in temporal relation to COVID-19-related restrictions and infection rates were analyzed. While rates of STEMI admissions decreased (calendar week 9/10 (n = 69, 42%); calendar week 11/12 (n = 51, 31%); calendar week 13/14 (n = 43, 26%)), total ischemic times increased from 164 (interquartile range (IQR): 107-281) min (calendar week 9/10) to 237 (IQR: 141-560) min (calendar week 11/12) and to 275 (IQR: 170-590) min (calendar week 13/14) (p = 0.006). Door-to-balloon times were constant (p = 0.60). There was a significant difference in post-interventional Thrombolysis in myocardial infarction (TIMI) flow grade 3 in patients treated during calendar week 9/10 (97%), 11/12 (84%) and 13/14 (81%; p = 0.02). Rates of in-hospital death and re-infarction were similar between groups (p = 0.48). Results were comparable when dichotomizing data on 10 March and 16 March 2020, when official restrictions were executed. In this cohort of all-comer STEMI patients, we observed a 1.7-fold increase in ischemic time during the outbreak of COVID-19 in Austria. Patient-related factors likely explain most of this increase. Counteractive steps are needed to prevent further cardiac collateral damage during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

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