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1.
Front Cardiovasc Med ; 8: 737257, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1638221

ABSTRACT

Background: Despite the ongoing global pandemic, the impact of COVID-19 on cardiac structure and function is still not completely understood. Myocarditis is a rare but potentially serious complication of other viral infections with variable recovery, and is, in some cases, associated with long-term cardiac remodeling and functional impairment. Aim: To assess myocardial injury in patients who recently recovered from an acute SARS-CoV-2 infection with advanced cardiac magnetic resonance imaging (CMR) and endomyocardial biopsy (EMB). Methods: In total, 32 patients with persistent cardiac symptoms after a COVID-19 infection, 22 patients with acute classic myocarditis not related to COVID-19, and 16 healthy volunteers were included in this study and underwent a comprehensive baseline CMR scan. Of these, 10 patients post COVID-19 and 13 with non-COVID-19 myocarditis underwent a follow-up scan. In 10 of the post-COVID-19 and 15 of the non-COVID-19 patients with myocarditis endomyocardial biopsy (EMB) with histological, immunohistological, and molecular analysis was performed. Results: In total, 10 (31%) patients with COVID-19 showed evidence of myocardial injury, eight (25%) presented with myocardial oedema, eight (25%) exhibited global or regional systolic left ventricular (LV) dysfunction, and nine (28%) exhibited impaired right ventricular (RV) function. However, only three (9%) of COVID-19 patients fulfilled updated CMR-Lake Louise criteria (LLC) for acute myocarditis. Regarding EMB, none of the COVID-19 patients but 87% of the non-COVID-19 patients with myocarditis presented histological findings in keeping with acute or chronic inflammation. COVID-19 patients with severe disease on the WHO scale presented with reduced biventricular longitudinal function, increased RV mass, and longer native T1 times compared with those with only mild or moderate disease. Conclusions: In our cohort, CMR and EMB findings revealed that SARS-CoV-2 infection was associated with relatively mild but variable cardiac involvement. More symptomatic COVID-19 patients and those with higher clinical care demands were more likely to exhibit chronic inflammation and impaired cardiac function compared to patients with milder forms of the disease.

3.
PLoS One ; 16(8): e0255976, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1365424

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Cardiac injury associated with cytokine release frequently occurs in SARS-CoV-2 mediated coronavirus disease (COVID19) and mortality is particularly high in these patients. The mechanistic role of the COVID19 associated cytokine-storm for the concomitant cardiac dysfunction and associated arrhythmias is unclear. Moreover, the role of anti-inflammatory therapy to mitigate cardiac dysfunction remains elusive. AIMS AND METHODS: We investigated the effects of COVID19-associated inflammatory response on cardiac cellular function as well as its cardiac arrhythmogenic potential in rat and induced pluripotent stem cell derived cardiomyocytes (iPS-CM). In addition, we evaluated the therapeutic potential of the IL-1ß antagonist Canakinumab using state of the art in-vitro confocal and ratiometric high-throughput microscopy. RESULTS: Isolated rat ventricular cardiomyocytes were exposed to control or COVID19 serum from intensive care unit (ICU) patients with severe ARDS and impaired cardiac function (LVEF 41±5%; 1/3 of patients on veno-venous extracorporeal membrane oxygenation; CK 154±43 U/l). Rat cardiomyocytes showed an early increase of myofilament sensitivity, a decrease of Ca2+ transient amplitudes and altered baseline [Ca2+] upon exposure to patient serum. In addition, we used iPS-CM to explore the long-term effect of patient serum on cardiac electrical and mechanical function. In iPS-CM, spontaneous Ca2+ release events were more likely to occur upon incubation with COVID19 serum and nuclear as well as cytosolic Ca2+ release were altered. Co-incubation with Canakinumab had no effect on pro-arrhythmogenic Ca2+ release or Ca2+ signaling during excitation-contraction coupling, nor significantly influenced cellular automaticity. CONCLUSION: Serum derived from COVID19 patients exerts acute cardio-depressant and chronic pro-arrhythmogenic effects in rat and iPS-derived cardiomyocytes. Canakinumab had no beneficial effect on cellular Ca2+ signaling during excitation-contraction coupling. The presented method utilizing iPS-CM and in-vitro Ca2+ imaging might serve as a novel tool for precision medicine. It allows to investigate cytokine related cardiac dysfunction and pharmacological approaches useful therein.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized/pharmacology , Arrhythmias, Cardiac , COVID-19 , Calcium Signaling/drug effects , Myocytes, Cardiac , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Adult , Aged , Animals , Arrhythmias, Cardiac/etiology , Arrhythmias, Cardiac/metabolism , Arrhythmias, Cardiac/pathology , COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/drug therapy , COVID-19/metabolism , COVID-19/pathology , Calcium/metabolism , Drug Evaluation, Preclinical , Female , Humans , Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells/metabolism , Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells/pathology , Male , Middle Aged , Myocytes, Cardiac/metabolism , Myocytes, Cardiac/pathology , Rats , Rats, Sprague-Dawley , Ventricular Dysfunction, Left/drug therapy , Ventricular Dysfunction, Left/etiology , Ventricular Dysfunction, Left/metabolism , Ventricular Dysfunction, Left/pathology
4.
Eur J Heart Fail ; 23(11): 1891-1902, 2021 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1209196

ABSTRACT

AIMS: Viral-induced cardiac inflammation can induce heart failure with preserved ejection fraction (HFpEF)-like syndromes. COVID-19 can lead to myocardial damage and vascular injury. We hypothesised that COVID-19 patients frequently develop a HFpEF-like syndrome, and designed this study to explore this. METHODS AND RESULTS: Cardiac function was assessed in 64 consecutive, hospitalized, and clinically stable COVID-19 patients from April-November 2020 with left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) ≥50% (age 56 ± 19 years, females: 31%, severe COVID-19 disease: 69%). To investigate likelihood of HFpEF presence, we used the HFA-PEFF score. A low (0-1 points), intermediate (2-4 points), and high (5-6 points) HFA-PEFF score was observed in 42%, 33%, and 25% of patients, respectively. In comparison, 64 subjects of similar age, sex, and comorbidity status without COVID-19 showed these scores in 30%, 66%, and 4%, respectively (between groups: P = 0.0002). High HFA-PEFF scores were more frequent in COVID-19 patients than controls (25% vs. 4%, P = 0.001). In COVID-19 patients, the HFA-PEFF score significantly correlated with age, estimated glomerular filtration rate, high-sensitivity troponin T (hsTnT), haemoglobin, QTc interval, LVEF, mitral E/A ratio, and H2 FPEF score (all P < 0.05). In multivariate, ordinal regression analyses, higher age and hsTnT were significant predictors of increased HFA-PEFF scores. Patients with myocardial injury (hsTnT ≥14 ng/L: 31%) vs. patients without myocardial injury, showed higher HFA-PEFF scores [median 5 (interquartile range 3-6) vs. 1 (0-3), P < 0.001] and more often showed left ventricular diastolic dysfunction (75% vs. 27%, P < 0.001). CONCLUSION: Hospitalized COVID-19 patients frequently show high likelihood of presence of HFpEF that is associated with cardiac structural and functional alterations, and myocardial injury. Detailed cardiac assessments including echocardiographic determination of left ventricular diastolic function and biomarkers should become routine in the care of hospitalized COVID-19 patients.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Heart Failure , Adult , Aged , Echocardiography , Female , Heart Failure/epidemiology , Humans , Middle Aged , SARS-CoV-2 , Stroke Volume , Ventricular Function, Left
5.
J Electrocardiol ; 66: 102-107, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1188736

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Patients with COVID-19 seem to be prone to the development of arrhythmias. The objective of this trial was to determine the characteristics, clinical significance and therapeutic consequences of these arrhythmias in COVID-19 patients requiring intensive care unit (ICU) treatment. METHODS AND RESULTS: A total of 113 consecutive patients (mean age 64.1 ± 14.3 years, 30 (26.5%) female) with positive PCR testing for SARS-CoV2 as well as radiographically confirmed pulmonary involvement admitted to the ICU from March to May 2020 were included and observed for a cumulative time of 2321 days. Fifty episodes of sustained atrial tachycardias, five episodes of sustained ventricular arrhythmias and thirty bradycardic events were documented. Sustained new onset atrial arrhythmias were associated with hemodynamic deterioration in 13 cases (35.1%). Patients with new onset atrial arrhythmias were older, showed higher levels of Hs-Troponin and NT-proBNP, and a more severe course of disease. The 5 ventricular arrhythmias (two ventricular tachycardias, two episodes of ventricular fibrillation, and one torsade de pointes tachycardia) were observed in 4 patients. All episodes could be terminated by immediate defibrillation/cardioversion. Five bradycardic events were associated with hemodynamic deterioration. Precipitating factors could be identified in 19 of 30 episodes (63.3%), no patient required cardiac pacing. Baseline characteristics were not significantly different between patients with or without bradycardic events. CONCLUSION: Relevant arrhythmias are common in severely ill ICU patients with COVID-19. They are associated with worse courses of disease and require specific treatment. This makes daily close monitoring of telemetric data mandatory in this patient group.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Aged , Arrhythmias, Cardiac/diagnosis , Electrocardiography , Female , Humans , Intensive Care Units , Middle Aged , RNA, Viral , SARS-CoV-2
6.
Front Med (Lausanne) ; 7: 616648, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1094173

ABSTRACT

Objective: COVID-19 is a highly contagious disease caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). Preventing in-hospital infections is crucial to protect patients and hospital staff. Methods: At the very beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, the German Heart Center initiated obligatory wearing of surgical face masks for patients and employees, SARS-CoV-2 screening for all patients, and symptom-based testing for employees. In addition, access restriction, closure of outpatient departments, and postponing non-urgent procedures were implemented with community-initiated regulations. Results: During the observation period (03/16/2020-04/27/2020), 1,128 SARS-CoV-2 tests were performed in 983 persons (1.1 tests/person; 589 in patients and 394 in hospital employees). Up to 60% of the clinical workforce was tested based on symptoms and risk (62.5% symptoms, 19.3% direct or indirect contact to known COVID-19, 4.5% returnee from risk area, 13.7% without specific reason). Patient testing for SARS-CoV-2 was obligatory (100% tested). The overall prevalence of positive tests during the observation period was 0.4% (n = 5 out of 1,128 tests performed). The incidence of new infections with SARS-CoV-2 was 0.5% (n = 5 out of 983 individuals; three healthcare workers, two patients). No nosocominal infections occurred, despite a mean number of 14.8 in-hospital contacts. Conclusion: Comprehensive SARS-CoV-2 testing and surgical face masks for patients and hospital staff, in addition to others measures, are key factors for the early detection of COVID-19 and to prevent spreading in the vulnerable hospital population.

7.
ESC Heart Fail ; 8(1): 333-343, 2021 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1064348

ABSTRACT

AIMS: This study aimed to evaluate the impact of coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) outbreak on admissions for acute myocardial infarction (AMI) and related mortality, severity of presentation, major cardiac complications and outcome in a tertiary-care university hospital in Berlin, Germany. METHODS AND RESULTS: In a single-centre cross-sectional observational study, we included 355 patients with AMI containing ST-elevation or non-ST-elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI or NSTEMI), admitted for emergency cardiac catheterization between January and April 2020 and the equivalent time in 2019. During the early phase of the Covid-19 pandemic (e-COV) in Berlin (March and April 2020), admissions for AMI halved compared with those in the pre-Covid-19 time (January and February 2020; pre-COV) and with those in the corresponding months in 2019. However, mortality for AMI increased substantially from 5.2% pre-COV to 17.7% (P < 0.05) during e-COV. Severity of presentation for AMI was more pronounced during e-COV [increased levels of cardiac enzymes, reduced left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF), an increase in the need of inotropic support by 25% (P < 0.01)], while patients' demographic and angiographic characteristics did not differ between pre-COV and e-COV. Time from symptom onset to first medical contact was prolonged in all AMI during e-COV (presentation > 72 h +21% in STEMI, p = 0.04 and presentation > 72 h in NSTEMI +22%, p = 0.02). Door to balloon time was similar in STEMI patients, while time from first medical contact to revascularization was significantly delayed in NSTEMI patients (p = 0.02). Major cardiac complications after AMI occurred significantly more often, and cardiac recovery was worse in e-COV than in pre-COV, demonstrated by a significantly lower LVEF (39 ± 16 vs. 46 ± 16, p < 0.05) at hospital discharge and substantially higher NTproBNP levels. CONCLUSIONS: The Covid-19 outbreak affects hospital admissions for acute coronary syndromes. During the first phase of the pandemia, significantly less patients with AMI were admitted, but those admitted presented with a more severe phenotype and had a higher mortality, more complications, and a worse short-term outcome. Therefore, our data indicate that Covid-19 had relevant impact on non-infectious disease states, such as acute coronary syndromes.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Myocardial Infarction/mortality , Acute Disease , Aged , Berlin/epidemiology , COVID-19/complications , Cross-Sectional Studies , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Myocardial Infarction/epidemiology , Myocardial Infarction/etiology , Treatment Outcome
8.
Infection ; 48(4): 619-626, 2020 Aug.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-597401

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE: Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has spread worldwide causing a global health emergency. Pa-COVID-19 aims to provide comprehensive data on clinical course, pathophysiology, immunology and outcome of COVID-19, to identify prognostic biomarkers, clinical scores, and therapeutic targets for improved clinical management and preventive interventions. METHODS: Pa-COVID-19 is a prospective observational cohort study of patients with confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection treated at Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin. We collect data on epidemiology, demography, medical history, symptoms, clinical course, and pathogen testing and treatment. Systematic, serial blood sampling will allow deep molecular and immunological phenotyping, transcriptomic profiling, and comprehensive biobanking. Longitudinal data and sample collection during hospitalization will be supplemented by long-term follow-up. RESULTS: Outcome measures include the WHO clinical ordinal scale on day 15 and clinical, functional, and health-related quality-of-life assessments at discharge and during follow-up. We developed a scalable dataset to (i) suit national standards of care, (ii) facilitate comprehensive data collection in medical care facilities with varying resources, and (iii) allow for rapid implementation of interventional trials based on the standardized study design and data collection. We propose this scalable protocol as blueprint for harmonized data collection and deep phenotyping in COVID-19 in Germany. CONCLUSION: We established a basic platform for harmonized, scalable data collection, pathophysiological analysis, and deep phenotyping of COVID-19, which enables rapid generation of evidence for improved medical care and identification of candidate therapeutic and preventive strategies. The electronic database accredited for interventional trials allows fast trial implementation for candidate therapeutic agents. TRIAL REGISTRATION: Registered at the German registry for clinical studies (DRKS00021688).


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections/physiopathology , Pneumonia, Viral/physiopathology , Registries , Berlin/epidemiology , Betacoronavirus , Biological Specimen Banks , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Disease Management , Humans , Observational Studies as Topic , Pandemics , Phenotype , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Prospective Studies , Risk Assessment , Risk Factors , SARS-CoV-2 , Time Factors , Treatment Outcome , World Health Organization
9.
Eur Heart J ; 41(22): 2109-2117, 2020 06 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-526858

ABSTRACT

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), has important implications for the safety of participants in clinical trials and the research staff caring for them and, consequently, for the trials themselves. Patients with heart failure may be at greater risk of infection with COVID-19 and the consequences might also be more serious, but they are also at risk of adverse outcomes if their clinical care is compromised. As physicians and clinical trialists, it is our responsibility to ensure safe and effective care is delivered to trial participants without affecting the integrity of the trial. The social contract with our patients demands no less. Many regulatory authorities from different world regions have issued guidance statements regarding the conduct of clinical trials during this COVID-19 crisis. However, international trials may benefit from expert guidance from a global panel of experts to supplement local advice and regulations, thereby enhancing the safety of participants and the integrity of the trial. Accordingly, the Heart Failure Association of the European Society of Cardiology on 21 and 22 March 2020 conducted web-based meetings with expert clinical trialists in Europe, North America, South America, Australia, and Asia. The main objectives of this Expert Position Paper are to highlight the challenges that this pandemic poses for the conduct of clinical trials in heart failure and to offer advice on how they might be overcome, with some practical examples. While this panel of experts are focused on heart failure clinical trials, these discussions and recommendations may apply to clinical trials in other therapeutic areas.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus , Clinical Trials as Topic/methods , Coronavirus Infections , Heart Failure , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral , Research Design/standards , COVID-19 , Clinical Trials as Topic/ethics , Clinical Trials as Topic/standards , Europe , Heart Failure/complications , Heart Failure/therapy , Humans , Informed Consent/ethics , Informed Consent/standards , Patient Safety , Patient Selection/ethics , SARS-CoV-2
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