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Cardiol Ther ; 10(2): 377-396, 2021 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1287469


Several forms of cardiovascular involvement have been described in patients with Coronavirus disease 19 (COVID-19): myocardial injury, acute coronary syndrome, acute heart failure, myocarditis, pericardial diseases, arrhythmias, takotsubo syndrome, and arterial and venous atherothrombotic and thromboembolic events. Data on long-term outcome of these patients are still sparse, and the type and real incidence of cardiovascular sequelae are poorly known. It is plausible that myocardial injury may be the initiator of an inflammatory cascade, edema, and subsequent fibrosis, but also a consequence of systemic inflammation. The extent and distribution of ongoing inflammation may be the basis for ventricular dysfunction and malignant arrhythmias. Indeed, preliminary observational findings seem to emphasize the importance of close monitoring of COVID-19 patients with myocardial injury after discharge. Residual subclinical disease may be effectively investigated by using second-level imaging modalities such as cardiac magnetic resonance, which allows better characterization of the type and extension of myocardial damage, as well as of the ongoing inflammation after the acute phase. In patients with venous thromboembolism, a very common complication of COVID-19, the type and the duration of anticoagulation therapy after the acute phase should be tailored to the patient and based on the estimation of the individual thromboembolic and hemorrhagic risk. Large randomized clinical trials are ongoing to address this clinical question. Whether the severity of cardiovascular involvement, the type of treatments adopted during the acute phase, and the hemodynamic response, may influence the long-term outcome of patients recovered from COVID-19 is unknown. An etiological diagnosis of myocardial injury during the hospitalization is the first step for an appropriate follow-up in these patients. After discharge, the screening for residual left and right ventricular dysfunction, arrhythmias, residual thrombosis, and myocardial scar should be considered on a case-by-case basis, whereas an active clinical surveillance is mandatory in any patient.

Trends Cardiovasc Med ; 31(1): 8-16, 2021 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1065613


The management of patients infected by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) may be difficult due to the need for dedicated in-hospital pathways, protective measures for healthcare professionals and isolated beds of intensive care, particularly in areas overwhelmed by wide viral spread. Although pneumonia is the most common clinical manifestation in coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), a variety of cardiovascular complications have been reported. An integrated diagnostic algorithm in SARS-CoV-2-infected patients with suspected cardiac involvement (laboratory findings of myocardial injury and electrocardiographic changes) may help to avoid unnecessary examinations and minimize the risk of operator infection. Due to its mobility and bedside feasibility, echocardiography is the first-line imaging technique in this clinical setting. It quickly provides information on ventricular functions, pulmonary hypertension, valve disease and pericardial effusion. In case of ST-segment elevation (STE), urgent coronary angiography should be performed. Cardiac ultrasound helps distinguish between ischemic and non-ischemic myocardial disease and may detect pericardial disease. Transmural ischemic electrocardiographic changes, with or without early elevated troponin levels or echocardiographic wall motion abnormalities, will determine the need for early invasive coronary angiography. Computed tomography (CT) through its multiple applications (chest CT; CT pulmonary angiography and coronary CT angiography; late iodine enhancement CT) and cardiac magnetic resonance might be helpful in reinforcing or redirecting diagnostic hypothesis emerged by other clinical, electrocardiographic and echocardiographic findings. The current pandemic makes it challenging to perform serial invasive and non-invasive diagnostic testing in COVID-19 patients and high serum troponin level. Nevertheless, thoughtful and systematic use of an appropriate multimodality imaging strategy is clinically relevant to detect cardiac injury and distinguish myocardial infarction from, myocarditis, takotsubo syndrome and pulmonary embolism.

COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/diagnostic imaging , Cardiovascular Diseases/diagnostic imaging , Cardiovascular Diseases/virology , Multimodal Imaging , Cardiac Imaging Techniques , Humans , Magnetic Resonance Imaging , Tomography, X-Ray Computed
BMC Cardiovasc Disord ; 21(1): 23, 2021 01 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1059712


BACKGROUND: A high prevalence of cardiovascular risk factors including age, male sex, hypertension, diabetes, and tobacco use, has been reported in patients with Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) who experienced adverse outcome. The aim of this study was to investigate the relationship between cardiovascular risk factors and in-hospital mortality in patients with COVID-19. METHODS: MEDLINE, Cochrane, Web of Sciences, and SCOPUS were searched for retrospective or prospective observational studies reporting data on cardiovascular risk factors and in-hospital mortality in patients with COVID-19. Univariable and multivariable age-adjusted analyses were conducted to evaluate the association between cardiovascular risk factors and the occurrence of in-hospital death. RESULTS: The analysis included 45 studies enrolling 18,300 patients. The pooled estimate of in-hospital mortality was 12% (95% CI 9-15%). The univariable meta-regression analysis showed a significant association between age (coefficient: 1.06; 95% CI 1.04-1.09; p < 0.001), diabetes (coefficient: 1.04; 95% CI 1.02-1.07; p < 0.001) and hypertension (coefficient: 1.01; 95% CI 1.01-1.03; p = 0.013) with in-hospital death. Male sex and smoking did not significantly affect mortality. At multivariable age-adjusted meta-regression analysis, diabetes was significantly associated with in-hospital mortality (coefficient: 1.02; 95% CI 1.01-1.05; p = 0.043); conversely, hypertension was no longer significant after adjustment for age (coefficient: 1.00; 95% CI 0.99-1.01; p = 0.820). A significant association between age and in-hospital mortality was confirmed in all multivariable models. CONCLUSIONS: This meta-analysis suggests that older age and diabetes are associated with higher risk of in-hospital mortality in patients infected by SARS-CoV-2. Conversely, male sex, hypertension, and smoking did not independently correlate with fatal outcome.

COVID-19/mortality , Cardiovascular Diseases/mortality , Hospital Mortality , SARS-CoV-2 , Age Factors , Analysis of Variance , Cardiovascular Diseases/etiology , Diabetes Mellitus/mortality , Female , Humans , Hypertension/mortality , Male , Observational Studies as Topic , Publication Bias , Regression Analysis , Risk Factors , Sex Factors , Smoking/mortality