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Front Cardiovasc Med ; 9: 861464, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1855327


Aim: To compare global and axial right ventricular ejection fraction in ventilated patients for moderate-to-severe acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) secondary to early SARS-CoV-2 pneumonia or to other causes, and in ventilated patients without ARDS used as reference. Methods: Retrospective single-center cross-sectional study including 64 ventilated patients: 21 with ARDS related to SARS-CoV-2 (group 1), 22 with ARDS unrelated to SARS-CoV-2 (group 2), and 21 without ARDS (control group). Real-time three-dimensional transesophageal echocardiography was performed for hemodynamic assessment within 24 h after admission. Contraction pattern of the right ventricle was decomposed along the three anatomically relevant axes. Relative contribution of each spatial axis was evaluated by calculating ejection fraction along each axis divided by the global right ventricular ejection fraction. Results: Global right ventricular ejection fraction was significantly lower in group 2 than in both group 1 and controls [median: 43% (25-75th percentiles: 40-57) vs. 58% (55-62) and 65% (56-68), respectively: p < 0.001]. Longitudinal shortening had a similar relative contribution to global right ventricular ejection fraction in all groups [group 1: 32% (28-39), group 2: 29% (24-40), control group: 31% (28-38), p = 0.6]. Radial shortening was lower in group 2 when compared to both group 1 and controls [45% (40-53) vs. 57% (51-62) and 56% (50-60), respectively: p = 0.005]. The relative contribution of right ventricular shortening along the anteroposterior axis was not statistically different between groups [group 1: 51% (41-55), group 2: 56% (46-63), control group; 56% (50-64), p = 0.076]. Conclusion: During early hemodynamic assessment, the right ventricular systolic function appears more impaired in ARDS unrelated to SARS-CoV-2 when compared to early stage SARS-CoV-2 ARDS. Radial shortening appears more involved than longitudinal and anteroposterior shortening in patients with ARDS unrelated to SARS-CoV-2 and decreased right ventricular ejection fraction.

Br J Sports Med ; 2021 Nov 30.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1546486


OBJECTIVES: To investigate the cardiovascular consequences of SARS-CoV-2 infection in highly trained, otherwise healthy athletes using cardiac magnetic resonance (CMR) imaging and to compare our results with sex-matched and age-matched athletes and less active controls. METHODS: SARS-CoV-2 infection was diagnosed by PCR on swab tests or serum immunoglobulin G antibody tests prior to a comprehensive CMR examination. The CMR protocol contained sequences to assess structural, functional and tissue-specific data. RESULTS: One hundred forty-seven athletes (94 male, median 23, IQR 20-28 years) after SARS-CoV-2 infection were included. Overall, 4.7% (n=7) of the athletes had alterations in their CMR as follows: late gadolinium enhancement (LGE) showing a non-ischaemic pattern with or without T2 elevation (n=3), slightly elevated native T1 values with or without elevated T2 values without pathological LGE (n=3) and pericardial involvement (n=1). Only two (1.4%) athletes presented with definite signs of myocarditis. We found pronounced sport adaptation in both athletes after SARS-CoV-2 infection and athlete controls. There was no difference between CMR parameters, including native T1 and T2 mapping, between athletes after SARS-CoV-2 infection and the matched athletic groups. Comparing athletes with different symptom severities showed that athletes with moderate symptoms had slightly greater T1 values than athletes with asymptomatic and mildly symptomatic infections (p<0.05). However, T1 mapping values remained below the cut-off point for most patients. CONCLUSION: Among 147 highly trained athletes after SARS-CoV-2 infection, cardiac involvement on CMR showed a modest frequency (4.7%), with definite signs of myocarditis present in only 1.4%. Comparing athletes after SARS-CoV-2 infection and healthy sex-matched and age-matched athletes showed no difference between CMR parameters, including native T1 and T2 values.

Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 18(18)2021 09 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1409529


BACKGROUND: The Olympic preparation of athletes has been highly influenced by COVID and post-COVID syndrome. As the complex screening of athletes is essential for safe and successful sports, we aimed to repeat the 2019-year sports cardiology screening of the Olympic Swim Team before the Olympics and to compare the results of COVID and non-COVID athletes. METHODS: Patient history, electrocardiogram, laboratory tests, body composition analysis, echocardiography, cardiopulmonary exercise test (CPET) were performed. We used time-ranking points to compare swimming performance. RESULTS: From April 2019, we examined 46 elite swimmers (24 ± 4 years). Fourteen swimmers had COVID infection; all cases were mild. During CPET there was no difference in the performance of COVID (male: VO2 max 55 ± 4 vs. 56.5 ± 5 mL/kg/min, p = 0.53; female: VO2 max 54.6 ± 4 vs. 56 ± 5.5 mL/kg/min, p = 0.86) vs. non-COVID athletes (male VO2 max 56.7 ± 5 vs. 55.5 ± 4.5 mL/kg/min, p = 0.50; female 49.6 ± 3 vs. 50.7 ± 2.6 mL/kg/min, p = 0.47) between 2019 and 2021. When comparing the time results of the National Championships, 54.8% of the athletes showed an improvement (p = 0.75). CONCLUSIONS: COVID infection with short-term detraining did not affect the performance of well-trained swimmers. According to our results, the COVID pandemic did not impair the effectiveness of the preparation for the Tokyo Olympics.

COVID-19 , Athletes , Female , Humans , Male , SARS-CoV-2 , Swimming , Tokyo
Nat Commun ; 12(1): 814, 2021 02 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1065864


On the basis of Covid-19-induced pulmonary pathological and vascular changes, we hypothesize that the anti-vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) drug bevacizumab might be beneficial for treating Covid-19 patients. From Feb 15 to April 5, 2020, we conducted a single-arm trial (NCT04275414) and recruited 26 patients from 2-centers (China and Italy) with severe Covid-19, with respiratory rate ≥30 times/min, oxygen saturation ≤93% with ambient air, or partial arterial oxygen pressure to fraction of inspiration O2 ratio (PaO2/FiO2) >100 mmHg and ≤300 mmHg, and diffuse pneumonia confirmed by chest imaging. Followed up for 28 days. Among these, bevacizumab plus standard care markedly improves the PaO2/FiO2 ratios at days 1 and 7. By day 28, 24 (92%) patients show improvement in oxygen-support status, 17 (65%) patients are discharged, and none show worsen oxygen-support status nor die. Significant reduction of lesion areas/ratios are shown in chest computed tomography (CT) or X-ray within 7 days. Of 14 patients with fever, body temperature normalizes within 72 h in 13 (93%) patients. Relative to comparable controls, bevacizumab shows clinical efficacy by improving oxygenation and shortening oxygen-support duration. Our findings suggest bevacizumab plus standard care is highly beneficial for patients with severe Covid-19. Randomized controlled trial is warranted.

Bevacizumab/therapeutic use , COVID-19/drug therapy , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Aged , Angiogenesis Inhibitors/therapeutic use , Body Temperature/drug effects , COVID-19/virology , China , Female , Fever/prevention & control , Humans , Italy , Male , Middle Aged , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Treatment Outcome