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Arq Bras Cardiol ; 118(4): 745-753, 2022 04.
Article in English, Portuguese | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1687899


BACKGROUND: The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted the delivery of care for cardiovascular diseases in Latin America. However, the effect of the pandemic on the cardiac diagnostic procedure volumes has not been quantified. OBJECTIVE: To assess (1) the impact of COVID-19 on cardiac diagnostic volumes in Latin America and (2) determine its relationship with COVID-19 case incidence and social distancing measures. METHODS: The International Atomic Energy Agency conducted a worldwide survey assessing changes in cardiac diagnostic volumes resulting from COVID-19. Cardiac diagnostic volumes were obtained from participating sites for March and April 2020 and compared to March 2019. Social distancing data were collected from Google COVID-19 community mobility reports and COVID-19 incidence per country from the Our World in Data. RESULTS: Surveys were conducted in 194 centers performing cardiac diagnostic procedures, in 19 countries in Latin America. Procedure volumes decreased 36% from March 2019 to March 2020, and 82% from March 2019 to April 2020. The greatest decreases occurred in echocardiogram stress tests (91%), exercise treadmill tests (88%), and computed tomography calcium scores (87%), with slight variations between sub-regions of Latin America. Changes in social distancing patterns (p < 0.001) were more strongly associated with volume reduction than COVID-19 incidence (p = 0.003). CONCLUSIONS: COVID-19 was associated with a significant reduction in cardiac diagnostic procedures in Latin America, which was more related to social distancing than to the COVID-19 incidence. Better balance and timing of social distancing measures and planning to maintain access to medical care is warranted during a pandemic surge, especially in regions with high cardiovascular mortality.

FUNDAMENTO: A pandemia de COVID-19 interferiu na prestação de atendimento a doenças cardiovasculares na América Latina. No entanto, o efeito da pandemia nos volumes de procedimentos cardíacos diagnósticos ainda não foi quantificado. OBJETIVO: Avaliar (1) o impacto de COVID-19 nos volumes de diagnóstico cardíaco na América Latina e (2) determinar sua relação com a incidência de casos de COVID-19 e as medidas de distanciamento social. MÉTODOS: A International Atomic Energy Agency realizou uma pesquisa mundial avaliando mudanças nos volumes diagnósticos cardíacos decorrentes da COVID-19. Foram obtidos os volumes diagnósticos cardíacos dos locais participantes para março e abril de 2020 e comparados com março de 2019. Foram coletados dados de distanciamento social a partir dos Relatórios de mobilidade da comunidade de Google e a incidência de COVID-19 por país a partir de Our World in Data. RESULTADOS: Foram realizadas pesquisas em 194 centros que realizam procedimentos diagnósticos cardíacos, em 19 países da América Latina. Em comparação com o mês de março de 2019, os volumes dos procedimentos diagnósticos cardíacos diminuíram 36% em março de 2020 e 82% em abril de 2020.As maiores reduções ocorreram em relação aos testes de estresse ecocardiográfico (91%), testes ergométricos de esteira (88%) e escore de cálcio por tomografia computadorizada (87%), com pequenas variações entre as sub-regiões da América Latina. As mudanças em padrões de distanciamento social (p < 0,001) estavam mais fortemente associadas com a redução do volume do que a incidência de COVID-19 (p = 0,003). CONCLUSÕES: A COVID-19 foi associada a uma redução significativa de procedimentos diagnósticos cardíacos na América Latina, a qual foi mais relacionada ao distanciamento social do que ao aumento da incidência da COVID-19. São necessários melhor equilíbrio e timing de medidas de distanciamento social e planejamento para manter o acesso ao atendimento médico durante um surto pandêmico, especialmente em regiões com alta mortalidade cardiovascular.

COVID-19 , Heart Diseases , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/epidemiology , Heart Diseases/epidemiology , Humans , Latin America/epidemiology , Pandemics , Surveys and Questionnaires
J Nucl Med ; 61(9): 1278-1283, 2020 Sep.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-680355


The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has placed significant challenges on health-care systems worldwide, whether in the preparation, response, or recovery phase of the pandemic. This has been primarily managed by dramatically reducing in- and outpatient services for other diseases and implementing infection prevention and control measures. The impact of the pandemic on nuclear medicine departments and their services has not yet been established. The aim of this online survey was to evaluate the impact of COVID-19 on nuclear medicine departments. Methods: A web-based questionnaire, made available from April 16 to May 3, 2020, was designed to determine the impact of the pandemic on in- and outpatient nuclear medicine departments, including the number of procedures, employee health, availability of radiotracers and other essential supplies, and availability of personal protective equipment. The survey also inquired about operational aspects and types of facilities as well as other challenges. Results: A total of 434 responses from 72 countries were registered and analyzed. Respondents reported an average decline of 54% in diagnostic procedures. PET/CT scans decreased by an average of 36%, whereas sentinel lymph-node procedures decreased by 45%, lung scans by 56%, bone scans by 60%, myocardial studies by 66%, and thyroid studies by 67%. Of all participating centers, 81% performed radionuclide therapies, and they reported a reduction of 45% on average in the last 4 wk, ranging from over 76% in Latin America and South East Asia to 16% in South Korea and Singapore. Survey results showed that 52% of participating sites limited their 99mTc/99Mo generator purchases, and 12% of them temporarily cancelled orders. Insufficient supplies of essential materials (radioisotopes, generators, and kits) were reported, especially for 99mTc/99Mo generators and 131I, particularly in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. Conclusion: Both diagnostic and therapeutic nuclear medicine procedures declined precipitously, with countries worldwide being affected by the pandemic to a similar degree. Countries that were in the postpeak phase of the pandemic when they responded to the survey, such as South Korea and Singapore, reported a less pronounced impact on nuclear medicine services; however, the overall results of the survey showed that nuclear medicine services worldwide had been significantly impacted. In relation to staff health, 15% of respondents experienced COVID-19 infections within their own departments.

Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Hospital Departments/statistics & numerical data , Internationality , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Surveys and Questionnaires , COVID-19 , Humans , Pandemics