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Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol ; 320(1): H404-H410, 2021 01 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1388544


While SARS-CoV-2 primarily affects the lungs, the virus may be inflicting detriments to the cardiovascular system, both directly through angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 receptor and initiating systemic inflammation. Persistent systemic inflammation may be provoking vascular dysfunction, an early indication of cardiovascular disease risk. To establish the potential effects of SARS-CoV-2 on the systemic vasculature in the arms and legs, we performed a cross-sectional analysis of young healthy adults (control: 5 M/15 F, 23.0 ± 1.3 y, 167 ± 9 cm, 63.0 ± 7.4 kg) and young adults who, 3-4 wk prior to testing, had tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 (SARS-CoV-2: 4 M/7 F, 20.2 ± 1.1 y, 172 ± 12 cm, 69.5 ± 12.4 kg) (means ± SD). Using Doppler ultrasound, brachial artery flow-mediated dilation (FMD) in the arm and single passive limb movement (sPLM) in the leg were assessed as markers of vascular function. Carotid-femoral pulse wave velocity (PWVcf) was asvsessed as a marker of arterial stiffness. FMD was lower in the SARS-CoV-2 group (2.71 ± 1.21%) compared with the control group (8.81 ± 2.96%) (P < 0.01) and when made relative to the shear stimulus (SARS-CoV-2: 0.04 ± 0.02 AU, control: 0.13 ± 0.06 AU, P < 0.01). The femoral artery blood flow response, as evidenced by the area under the curve, from the sPLM was lower in the SARS-CoV-2 group (-3 ± 91 mL) compared with the control group (118 ± 114 mL) (P < 0.01). PWVcf was higher in the SARS-CoV-2 group (5.83 ± 0.62 m/s) compared with the control group (5.17 ± 0.66 m/s) (P < 0.01). Significantly lower systemic vascular function and higher arterial stiffness are evident weeks after testing positive for SARS-CoV-2 among young adults compared with controls.NEW & NOTEWORTHY This study was the first to investigate the vascular implications of contracting SARS-CoV-2 among young, otherwise healthy adults. Using a cross-sectional design, this study assessed vascular function 3-4 wk after young adults tested positive for SARS-CoV-2. The main findings from this study were a strikingly lower vascular function and a higher arterial stiffness compared with healthy controls. Together, these results suggest rampant vascular effects seen weeks after contracting SARS-CoV-2 in young adults.

Blood Vessels/physiopathology , Brachial Artery/physiopathology , COVID-19/physiopathology , Carotid-Femoral Pulse Wave Velocity , Femoral Artery/physiopathology , Hyperemia/physiopathology , Vascular Stiffness/physiology , Vasodilation/physiology , Adolescent , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , Area Under Curve , Blood Vessels/metabolism , Brachial Artery/diagnostic imaging , COVID-19/diagnostic imaging , Case-Control Studies , Cross-Sectional Studies , Female , Humans , Hyperemia/diagnostic imaging , Male , SARS-CoV-2 , Severity of Illness Index , Ultrasonography, Doppler , Young Adult
Exp Physiol ; 107(7): 694-707, 2022 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1201164


NEW FINDINGS: What is the central question of this study? We sought to investigate whether carotid stiffness, carotid intima-media thickness and the aortic augmentation index are altered in young adults 3-4 weeks after contraction of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) compared with young healthy adults. What is the main finding and its importance? We found that carotid stiffness, Young's modulus and the aortic augmentation index were greater in young adults who tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 compared with healthy young adults. These findings provide additional evidence for detrimental effects of SARS-CoV-2 on young adult vasculature, which might have implications for cardiovascular health. ABSTRACT: Contracting severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has been observed to cause decrements in vascular function of young adults. However, less is known about the impact of SARS-CoV-2 on arterial stiffness and structure, which might have additional implications for cardiovascular health. The purpose of this study was to assess the carotid artery stiffness and structure using ultrasound and the aortic augmentation index (AIx) using applanation tonometry in young adults after they tested positive for SARS-CoV-2. We hypothesized that carotid artery stiffness, carotid intima-media thickness (cIMT) and aortic AIx would be elevated in young adults with SARS-CoV-2 compared with healthy young adults. We evaluated 15 young adults (six male and nine female; 20 ± 1 years of age; body mass index, 24 ± 3 kg m-2 ) 3-4 weeks after a positive SARS-CoV-2 test result compared with young healthy adults (five male and 10 female; 23 ± 1 years of age; body mass index, 22 ± 2 kg m-2 ) who were evaluated before the coronavirus 2019 pandemic. Carotid stiffness, Young's modulus and cIMT were assessed using ultrasound, whereas aortic AIx and aortic AIx standardized to 75 beats min-1 (AIx@HR75) were assessed from carotid pulse wave analysis using SphygmoCor. Group differences were observed for carotid stiffness (control, 5 ± 1 m s-1 ; SARS-CoV-2, 6 ± 1 m s-1 ), Young's modulus (control, 396 ± 120 kPa; SARS-CoV-2, 576 ± 224 kPa), aortic AIx (control, 3 ± 13%; SARS-CoV-2, 13 ± 9%) and aortic AIx@HR75 (control, -3 ± 16%; SARS-CoV-2, 10 ± 7%; P < 0.05). However, cIMT was similar between groups (control, 0.42 ± 0.06 mm; SARS-CoV-2, 0.44 ± 0.08 mm; P > 0.05). This cross-sectional analysis revealed higher carotid artery stiffness and aortic stiffness among young adults with SARS-CoV-2. These results provide further evidence of cardiovascular impairments among young adults recovering from SARS-CoV-2 infection, which should be considered for cardiovascular complications associated with SARS-CoV-2.

COVID-19 , Vascular Stiffness , Carotid Arteries , Carotid Intima-Media Thickness , Cross-Sectional Studies , Female , Humans , Infant , Male , SARS-CoV-2 , Young Adult