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PubMed; 2022.
Preprint in English | PubMed | ID: ppcovidwho-338328


BACKGROUND: Mechanisms underlying persistent cardiopulmonary symptoms following SARS-CoV-2 infection (post-acute sequelae of COVID-19 "PASC" or "Long COVID") remain unclear. The purpose of this study was to elucidate the pathophysiology of cardiopulmonary PASC using multimodality cardiovascular imaging including cardiopulmonary exercise testing (CPET), cardiac magnetic resonance imaging (CMR) and ambulatory rhythm monitoring. METHODS: We performed CMR, CPET, and ambulatory rhythm monitoring among adults > 1 year after PCR-confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection in the UCSF Long-Term Impact of Infection with Novel Coronavirus cohort (LIINC;NCT04362150 ) and correlated findings with previously measured biomarkers. We used logistic regression to estimate associations with PASC symptoms (dyspnea, chest pain, palpitations, and fatigue) adjusted for confounders and linear regression to estimate differences between those with and without symptoms adjusted for confounders. RESULTS: Out of 120 participants in the cohort, 46 participants (unselected for symptom status) had at least one advanced cardiac test performed at median 17 months following initial SARS-CoV-2 infection. Median age was 52 (IQR 42-61), 18 (39%) were female, and 6 (13%) were hospitalized for severe acute infection. On CMR (n=39), higher extracellular volume was associated with symptoms, but no evidence of late-gadolinium enhancement or differences in T1 or T2 mapping were demonstrated. We did not find arrhythmias on ambulatory monitoring. In contrast, on CPET (n=39), 13/23 (57%) with cardiopulmonary symptoms or fatigue had reduced exercise capacity (peak VO 2 <85% predicted) compared to 2/16 (13%) without symptoms (p=0.008). The adjusted difference in peak VO 2 was 5.9 ml/kg/min lower (-9.6 to -2.3;p=0.002) or -21% predicted (-35 to -7;p=0.006) among those with symptoms. Chronotropic incompetence was the primary abnormality among 9/15 (60%) with reduced peak VO 2 . Adjusted heart rate reserve <80% was associated with reduced exercise capacity (OR 15.6, 95%CI 1.30-187;p=0.03). Inflammatory markers (hsCRP, IL-6, TNF-alpha) and SARS-CoV-2 antibody levels measured early in PASC were negatively correlated with peak VO 2 more than 1 year later. CONCLUSIONS: Cardiopulmonary symptoms and elevated inflammatory markers present early in PASC are associated with objectively reduced exercise capacity measured on cardiopulmonary exercise testing more than 1 year following COVID-19. Chronotropic incompetence may explain reduced exercise capacity among some individuals with PASC. Clinical Perspective: What is New?Elevated inflammatory markers in early post-acute COVID-19 are associated with reduced exercise capacity more than 1 year later.Impaired chronotropic response to exercise is associated with reduced exercise capacity and cardiopulmonary symptoms more than 1 year after SARS-CoV-2 infection.Findings on ambulatory rhythm monitoring point to perturbed autonomic function, while cardiac MRI findings argue against myocardial dysfunction and myocarditis. Clinical Implications: Cardiopulmonary testing to identify etiologies of persistent symptoms in post-acute sequalae of COVID-19 or "Long COVID" should be performed in a manner that allows for assessment of heart rate response to exercise. Therapeutic trials of anti-inflammatory and exercise strategies in PASC are urgently needed and should include assessment of symptoms and objective testing with cardiopulmonary exercise testing.

PubMed; 2021.
Preprint in English | PubMed | ID: ppcovidwho-333686


The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome-related coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) has now caused over 2 million deaths worldwide and continues to expand. Currently, much is unknown about functionally neutralizing human antibody responses and durability to SARS-CoV-2. Using convalescent sera collected from 101 COVID-19 recovered individuals 21-212 days after symptom onset with forty-eight additional longitudinal samples, we measured functionality and durability of serum antibodies. We also evaluated associations between individual demographic and clinical parameters with functional neutralizing antibody responses to COVID-19. We found robust antibody durability out to six months, as well as significant positive associations with the magnitude of the neutralizing antibody response and male sex. We also show that SARS-CoV-2 convalescent neutralizing antibodies are higher in individuals with cardio-metabolic comorbidities. SIGNIFICANCE: In this study we found that neutralizing antibody responses in COVID-19 convalescent individuals vary in magnitude but are durable and correlate well with RBD Ig binding antibody levels compared to other SARS-CoV-2 antigen responses. In our cohort, higher neutralizing antibody titers are independently and significantly associated with male sex compared to female sex. We also show for the first time, that higher convalescent antibody titers in male donors are associated with increased age and symptom grade. Furthermore, cardio-metabolic co-morbidities are associated with higher antibody titers independently of sex. Here, we present an in-depth evaluation of serologic, demographic, and clinical correlates of functional antibody responses and durability to SARS-CoV-2.