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Physiol Rep ; 10(18): e15423, 2022 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2056504


Cross-sectional data indicate that acute SARS-CoV-2 infection increases resting muscle sympathetic nerve activity (MSNA) and alters hemodynamic responses to orthostasis in young adults. However, the longitudinal impact of contracting SARS-CoV-2 on autonomic function remains unclear. The aim of this study was to longitudinally track MSNA, sympathetic transduction to blood pressure (BP), and hemodynamics over 6 months following SARS-CoV-2 infection. Young adults positive with SARS-CoV-2 reported to the laboratory three times over 6 months (V1:41 ± 17, V2:108 ± 21, V3:173 ± 16 days post-infection). MSNA, systolic (SBP) and diastolic (DBP) blood pressure, and heart rate (HR) were measured at rest, during a cold pressor test (CPT), and at 30° head-up tilt (HUT). Basal SBP (p = 0.019) and DBP (p < 0.001) decreased throughout the 6 months, whereas basal MSNA and HR were not different. Basal sympathetic transduction to BP and estimates of baroreflex sensitivity did not change over time. SBP and DBP were lower during CPT (SBP: p = 0.016, DBP: p = 0.007) and HUT at V3 compared with V1 (SBP: p = 0.041, DBP: p = 0.017), with largely no changes in MSNA. There was a trend toward a visit-by-time interaction for burst incidence (p = 0.055) during HUT, wherein at baseline immediately prior to tilting, burst incidence was lower at V3 compared with V1 (p = 0.014), but there were no differences between visits in the 30 HUT position. These results support impairments to cardiovascular health, and potentially autonomic function, which may improve over time. However, the improvements in BP over 6 months recovery from mild SARS-CoV-2 infection are likely not a direct result of changes in sympathetic activity.

COVID-19 , Baroreflex/physiology , Blood Pressure/physiology , Cross-Sectional Studies , Heart Rate/physiology , Hemodynamics/physiology , Humans , Muscle, Skeletal/physiology , SARS-CoV-2 , Sympathetic Nervous System/physiology , Young Adult