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1.
European heart journal supplements : journal of the European Society of Cardiology ; 23(Suppl G), 2021.
Article in English | EuropePMC | ID: covidwho-1602236

ABSTRACT

Aims Although the new coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) may cause an acute multiorgan syndrome (COVID-19), data are emerging on mid- and long-term sequelae of COVID-19 pneumonia. Since no study has hitherto investigated the role of both cardiac and pulmonary ultrasound techniques in detecting such sequelae, this study aimed at evaluating these simple diagnostic tools to appraise the cardiopulmonary involvement occurring after COVID-19 pneumonia. Methods and results Twenty-nine patients fully recovered from COVID-19 pneumonia were considered at our centre. On admission, all patients underwent 12-lead electrocardiogram (ECG) and transthoracic echocardiography (TTE) evaluation. Compression ultrasound (CUS) and lung ultrasound (LUS) were also performed. Finally, in each patient, pathological findings detected on LUS were correlated with the pulmonary involvement occurring after COVID-19 pneumonia as assessed on thoracic computed tomography (CT). Out of 29 patients (mean age 70 ± 10 years old;M 69%), prior cardiovascular and pulmonary comorbidities were recorded in 22 (76%). Twenty-seven patients (93%) were in sinus rhythm and two (7%) in atrial fibrillation. ECG repolarization abnormalities were extremely common (93%) and reflected the high prevalence of pericardial involvement on TTE (86%). Likewise, pleural abnormalities were frequently observed (66%). TTE signs of left and right ventricular dysfunction were reported in two patients only, but values of systolic pulmonary artery pressure were abnormal in 16 (55%) despite absence of prior comorbidities in 44% of them. Regarding LUS evaluation, most patients displayed abnormal values of diaphragmatic thickness and excursion (93%) which well correlated with the high prevalence (76%) of on pathological findings on CT scan. CUS ruled out deep vein thrombosis in all patients. Conclusions Data on cardiopulmonary sequelae after COVID-19 pneumonia are scarce. In our study, simple diagnostic tools (TTE and LUS) proved clinically useful for detection of cardiopulmonary involvement after COVID-19 pneumonia.

2.
European heart journal supplements : journal of the European Society of Cardiology ; 23(Suppl G), 2021.
Article in English | EuropePMC | ID: covidwho-1602008

ABSTRACT

Aims Myopericarditis have been reported as rare event after SARS-CoV-2 vaccination with mRNA-1273 and BNT162b2. However, these data referred to the month of May 2021, when only a few people under the age of 30 had been vaccinated. The aim was to report cases diagnosed with myopericarditis short after vaccination admitted to our hospital. Methods and results An observational study was performed recording all cases of patients (pts) hospitalized for myopericarditis which occurred within 14 days of SARS-CoV-2 mRNA vaccination. From June to August 2021, 12 pts were hospitalized for myopericarditis;four of them (33%) were young male pts (29 ± 12 years old) with no history of CVDs or SARS-CoV-2 infection but with a recent second dose of Covid-19 mRNA-1273 vaccine (mean interval from the injection 3 ± 2 days). ECG showed diffuse ST-segment elevation without specularity (Figure 1). SARS-CoV-2 molecular swab tested negative;laboratory (lab) test showed a slight increase of white blood cells (11 267 ± 1047 108/l) and a marked increase of C-reactive protein (78 ± 79 mg/l), troponin T (179 ± 179 ng/l), and Nt-proBNP (876 ± 198 ng/l);transthoracic echocardiogram showed normal left ventricle ejection fraction (mean 55 ± 3%) and in one case only mild pericardial effusion;chest X-ray showed pleural effusion in one case only. Pts were then hospitalized for an average of 7 ± 2 days and an anti-inflammatory therapy based on acetylsalicylic acid and colchicine (in one case also with cortisone) was established. In the following days, pts gradually recovered and were discharged home. After 10 days, two pts underwent a cardiac magnetic resonance imaging (cMRI) revealing myocardial oedema and late gadolinium enhancement in the subepicardial and midmyocardium, along the basal and mid-apical lateral wall;due to relative contraindications, the same examination was scheduled later for the other two pts. These cases deserve specific considerations on the causal relationship between heart inflammation and SARS-CoV-2 mRNA vaccines. Among the various pathophysiological hypothesis there is the high levels of antibodies that mRNA vaccines can generate in young male subjects or the consideration of mRNA as a natural adjuvant capable of activating disproportionately the innate immune system;in both cases, the result is an immune overreaction that can affect various organs including the heart. Conclusions Although the number of our cases is small and all pts recovered in a short time, the timing of symptoms and the similarities in clinical findings and lab characteristics call for further investigations.

3.
European heart journal supplements : journal of the European Society of Cardiology ; 23(Suppl G), 2021.
Article in English | EuropePMC | ID: covidwho-1602007

ABSTRACT

Aims Severe pulmonary complications are well described in the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) have been documented as well. Most patients (pts) recover quickly;nevertheless, the potential long-term cardiovascular sequalae of COVID-19 remain currently unknown. The aim was to report cases of acute coronary syndromes (ACS) after healing from COVID-19 and their features at coronary angiography;secondary purpose was to hypothesize the underlying mechanisms. Methods and results A retrospective study was performed by acquiring data from the electronic medical record. From January to June 2021, four hypertensive pts (64 ± 17 years old;three males) with no history of CVDs and previous symptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infection (mean interval from first positive molecular swab 47 ± 32 days;all recovered after 15 days with double negative swab) were admitted to the emergency department for ST-elevation myocardial infarction (3 anterior and one inferior). At admission, the SARS-CoV-2 molecular swab tested negative, left ventricle ejection fraction was 42 ± 12%, troponin T and Nt-proBNP values were 47 ± 24 ng/l and 1180 ± 978 ng/l, respectively. Emergency coronary angiography showed single-vessel acute thrombotic occlusion (in three cases of the anterior descending artery and in one case of the right coronary artery), with no evidence of atherosclerotic disease. Because of the high thrombotic burden, in all cases a mechanical thrombus aspiration system was used, tirofiban infusion started and no balloon angioplasty or drug-eluting stent implantation was necessary (Figures A–D). After 72 h, a second SARS-CoV-2 molecular swab tested also negative. In the following days, the pts gradually recovered and they were discharged home. Conclusions These cases deserve specific considerations both on the pathophysiologic mechanisms of the ACS possibly related to SARS-CoV-2 and on the subsequent long-term sequelae. Among various pathophysiologic mechanisms proposed, the high affinity of the spike protein for the angiotensin converting enzyme two receptor (expressed by both cardiac and endothelial cells) could explain direct cardiac viral infection and vasculitis with possible development of thrombosis. The latter could contribute both to acute and long-term cardiac sequelae, even months after the acute infection, configuring a sort of ‘cardiac post-Covid syndrome’. Whether and how long this status persists, making COVID-19 a risk factor for subsequent CVDs, is still an unresolved question. In this regard, continuous monitoring of these pts and larger future studies will be essential.

4.
European heart journal supplements : journal of the European Society of Cardiology ; 23(Suppl G), 2021.
Article in English | EuropePMC | ID: covidwho-1602001

ABSTRACT

Aims During 2020, Italy was hit by the pandemic of the ‘Coronavirus disease 2019’ (COVID-19) with an incidence/100 000 citizens characterized by two peaks. An increase in out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA) mortality during the first pandemic peak has already been described, but there are few data on the whole year. The goal of our study is to evaluate the impact of the pandemic on post-OHCA mortality. Methods We considered patients with OHCA in Varese territory from January to December 2020 with medical aetiology according with Utstein 2014 classification. The primary endpoint of the study was the assessment of acute post-arrest mortality and which parameters influence this outcome. In particular, both the role of pandemic peaks (‘first peak’ from 11 March 2020 to 23rd May 2020 and ‘second peak’ from 7 October 2020 to 31 December 2020) and the average rescue times, i.e.: (i) interval between OHCA and call for first aid (delay in activation of assistance);(ii) the interval between the call and the arrival of the rescue vehicles (delay in the arrival of the first aid) and finally;(iii) the time between the arrival of the rescue vehicles and the end of Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR), interrupted due to death or Recovery of Spontaneous Circulation (ROSC). Finally, we performed a multivariate analysis to assess which of the variables considered had the greatest impact on the outcome. Results We analysed 708 patients (mean age 76 + 14.09 years;40% women). Overall mortality was 89%. During the peaks there was an increase in mortality compared to the pre-pandemic period (first peak 96% vs. 83%, OR 4.49;second peak 92% vs. 83%, OR 2.45) (Figure 1). The time between the collapse and the call for help was significantly higher during the first pandemic peak compared to the second peak and the pre-pandemic period (P = 0.003);the time between the call and the arrival on the patient was significantly longer during both pandemic peaks than in the previous period (P = 0.002) and there was no significant difference in CPR duration time between the periods analysed. In a multivariate model, the only time associated with an increase in mortality is the period between the call for help and the arrival on the patient, regardless of the COVID-19 pandemic.Figure 1 446  Conclusions During the COVID-19 pandemic there has been an increase in mortality of patients with OHCA. Among the variables considered, the increase in mortality is mainly associated with the delay in the arrival of emergency vehicles on site. This delay, although decreasing, was also maintained during the second peak of the pandemic.

5.
J Clin Med ; 10(22)2021 Nov 20.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1534112

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: subclinical pulmonary and peripheral congestion is an emerging concept in heart failure, correlated with a worse prognosis. Very few studies have evaluated its prognostic impact in an outpatient setting and its relationship with right-ventricular dysfunction. The study aims to investigate subclinical congestion in chronic heart failure outpatients, exploring the close relationship between the right heart-pulmonary unit and peripheral congestion. MATERIALS AND METHODS: in this observational study, 104 chronic HF outpatients were enrolled. The degree of congestion and signs of elevated filling pressures of the right ventricle were evaluated by physical examination and a transthoracic ultrasound to define multiparametric right ventricular dysfunction, estimate the right atrial pressure and the pulmonary artery systolic pressure. Outcome data were obtained by scheduled visits and phone calls. RESULTS: ultrasound signs of congestion were found in 26% of patients and, among this cohort, half of them presented as subclinical, affecting their prognosis, revealing a linear correlation between right ventricular/arterial coupling, the right-chambers size and ultrasound congestion. Right ventricular dysfunction, TAPSE/PAPS ratio, clinical and ultrasound signs of congestion have been confirmed to be useful predictors of outcome. CONCLUSIONS: subclinical congestion is widespread in the heart failure outpatient population, significantly affecting prognosis, especially when right ventricular dysfunction also occurs, suggesting a strict correlation between the heart-pulmonary unit and volume overload.

6.
J Cardiovasc Dev Dis ; 8(10)2021 Oct 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1470897

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Although severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) may cause an acute multiorgan syndrome (coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)), data are emerging on mid- and long-term sequelae of COVID-19 pneumonia. Since no study has hitherto investigated the role of both cardiac and pulmonary ultrasound techniques in detecting such sequelae, this study aimed at evaluating these simple diagnostic tools to appraise the cardiopulmonary involvement after COVID-19 pneumonia. METHODS: Twenty-nine patients fully recovered from COVID-19 pneumonia were considered at our centre. On admission, all patients underwent 12-lead electrocardiogram (ECG) and transthoracic echocardiography (TTE) evaluation. Compression ultrasound (CUS) and lung ultrasound (LUS) were also performed. Finally, in each patient, pathological findings detected on LUS were correlated with the pulmonary involvement occurring after COVID-19 pneumonia, as assessed on thoracic computed tomography (CT). RESULTS: Out of 29 patients (mean age 70 ± 10 years; males 69%), prior cardiovascular and pulmonary comorbidities were recorded in 22 (76%). Twenty-seven patients (93%) were in sinus rhythm and two (7%) in atrial fibrillation. Persistence of ECG abnormalities from the acute phase was common, and nonspecific repolarisation abnormalities (93%) reflected the high prevalence of pericardial involvement on TTE (86%). Likewise, pleural abnormalities were frequently observed (66%). TTE signs of left and right ventricular dysfunction were reported in two patients, and values of systolic pulmonary artery pressure were abnormal in 16 (55%, despite the absence of prior comorbidities in 44% of them). Regarding LUS evaluation, most patients displayed abnormal values of diaphragmatic thickness and excursion (93%), which correlated well with the high prevalence (76%) of pathological findings on CT scan. CUS ruled out deep vein thrombosis in all patients. CONCLUSIONS: Data on cardiopulmonary involvement after COVID-19 pneumonia are scarce. In our study, simple diagnostic tools (TTE and LUS) proved clinically useful for the detection of cardiopulmonary complications after COVID-19 pneumonia.

8.
Eur J Intern Med ; 89: 81-86, 2021 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1209445

ABSTRACT

AIMS: heart failure (HF) and coronary artery disease (CAD) are independent predictors of death in patients with COVID-19. The adverse prognostic impact of the combination of HF and CAD in these patients is unclear. METHODS AND RESULTS: we analysed data from 954 consecutive patients hospitalized for SARS-CoV-2 in five Italian Hospitals from February 23 to May 22, 2020. The study was a systematic prospective data collection according to a pre-specified protocol. All-cause mortality during hospitalization was the outcome measure. Mean duration of hospitalization was 33 days. Mortality was 11% in the total population and 7.4% in the group without evidence of HF or CAD (reference group). Mortality was 11.6% in the group with CAD and without HF (odds ratio [OR]: 1.6, p = 0.120), 15.5% in the group with HF and without CAD (OR: 2.3, p = 0.032), and 35.6% in the group with CAD and HF (OR: 6.9, p<0.0001). The risk of mortality in patients with CAD and HF combined was consistently higher than the sum of risks related to either disorder, resulting in a significant synergistic effect (p<0.0001) of the two conditions. Age-adjusted attributable proportion due to interaction was 64%. Adjusting for the simultaneous effects of age, hypotension, and lymphocyte count did not significantly lower attributable proportion which persisted statistically significant (p = 0.0360). CONCLUSION: The combination of HF and CAD exerts a marked detrimental impact on the risk of mortality in hospitalized patients with COVID-19, which is independent on other adverse prognostic markers.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Coronary Artery Disease , Heart Failure , Hospitalization , Humans , Italy/epidemiology , Prospective Studies , Risk Factors , SARS-CoV-2
9.
BMC Med Educ ; 20(1): 332, 2020 Sep 25.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-794970

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The Coronavirus Disease 19 (COVID-19) pandemic brought significant disruption to in-hospital medical training. Virtual reality simulating the clinical environment has the potential to overcome this issue and can be particularly useful to supplement the traditional in-hospital medical training during the COVID-19 pandemic, when hospital access is banned for medical students. The aim of this study was to assess medical students' perception on fully online training including simulated clinical scenarios during COVID-19 pandemic. METHODS: From May to July 2020 when in-hospital training was not possible, 122 students attending the sixth year of the course of Medicine and Surgery underwent online training sessions including an online platform with simulated clinical scenarios (Body Interact™) of 21 patient-based cases. Each session focused on one case, lasted 2 h and was divided into three different parts: introduction, virtual patient-based training, and debriefing. In the same period, adjunctive online training with formal presentation and discussion of clinical cases was also given. At the completion of training, a survey was performed, and students filled in a 12-item anonymous questionnaire on a voluntary basis to rate the training quality. Results were reported as percentages or with numeric ratings from 1 to 4. Due to the study design, no sample size was calculated. RESULTS: One hundred and fifteen students (94%) completed the questionnaire: 104 (90%) gave positive evaluation to virtual reality training and 107 (93%) appreciated the format in which online training was structured. The majority of participants considered the platform of virtual reality training realistic for the initial clinical assessment (77%), diagnostic activity (94%), and treatment options (81%). Furthermore, 97 (84%) considered the future use of this virtual reality training useful in addition to the apprenticeship at patient's bedside. Finally, 32 (28%) participants found the online access difficult due to technical issues. CONCLUSIONS: During the COVID-19 pandemic, online medical training including simulated clinical scenarios avoided training interruption and the majority of participant students gave a positive response on the perceived quality of this training modality. During this time frame, a non-negligible proportion of students experienced difficulties in online access to this virtual reality platform.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Education, Distance/organization & administration , Education, Medical, Undergraduate/organization & administration , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Simulation Training/organization & administration , Virtual Reality , COVID-19 , Clinical Competence , Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , Coronavirus Infections/transmission , Humans , Pandemics/prevention & control , Pneumonia, Viral/prevention & control , Pneumonia, Viral/transmission , SARS-CoV-2 , Surveys and Questionnaires
10.
Eur J Intern Med ; 78: 101-106, 2020 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-609614

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: . The electrocardiographic (ECG) changes which may occur during hospitalization for COVID-19 have not yet been comprehensively assessed. PATIENTS AND METHODS: . We examined 50 patients admitted to hospital with proven COVID-19 pneumonia. At entry, all patients underwent a detailed clinical examination, 12-lead ECG, laboratory tests and arterial blood gas test. ECG was also recorded at discharge and in case of worsening clinical conditions. RESULTS: . Mean age of patients was 64 years and 72% were men. At baseline, 30% of patients had ST-T abnormalities, and 33% had left ventricular hypertrophy. During hospitalization, 26% of patients developed new ECG abnormalities which included atrial fibrillation, ST-T changes, tachy-brady syndrome, and changes consistent with acute pericarditis. One patient was transferred to intensive care unit for massive pulmonary embolism with right bundle branch block, and another for non-ST segment elevation myocardial infarction. Patients free of ECG changes during hospitalization were more likely to be treated with antiretrovirals (68% vs 15%, p = 0.001) and hydroxychloroquine (89% vs 62%, p = 0.026) versus those who developed ECG abnormalities after admission. Most measurable ECG features at discharge did not show significant changes from baseline (all p>0.05) except for a slightly decrease in Cornell voltages (13±6 vs 11±5 mm; p = 0.0001) and a modest increase in the PR interval. The majority (54%) of patients with ECG abnormalities had 2 prior consecutive negative nasopharyngeal swabs. ECG abnormalities were first detected after an average of about 30 days from symptoms' onset (range 12-51 days). CONCLUSIONS: . ECG abnormalities during hospitalization for COVID-19 pneumonia reflect a wide spectrum of cardiovascular complications, exhibit a late onset, do not progress in parallel with pulmonary abnormalities and may occur after negative nasopharyngeal swabs.


Subject(s)
Arrhythmias, Cardiac , Coronavirus Infections , Electrocardiography/methods , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral , Arrhythmias, Cardiac/classification , Arrhythmias, Cardiac/diagnosis , Arrhythmias, Cardiac/etiology , Betacoronavirus/isolation & purification , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Coronavirus Infections/physiopathology , Coronavirus Infections/therapy , Female , Hospitalization/statistics & numerical data , Humans , Italy/epidemiology , Male , Middle Aged , Outcome and Process Assessment, Health Care , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnosis , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Pneumonia, Viral/etiology , Pneumonia, Viral/physiopathology , Pneumonia, Viral/therapy , Prognosis , SARS-CoV-2 , Severity of Illness Index
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