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1.
J Nucl Cardiol ; 2022 May 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1850449

ABSTRACT

AIM: Arterial involvement has been implicated in the coronavirus disease of 2019 (COVID-19). Fluorine 18-fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography/computed tomography (18F-FDG PET/CT) imaging is a valuable tool for the assessment of aortic inflammation and is a predictor of outcome. We sought to prospectively assess the presence of aortic inflammation and its time-dependent trend in patients with COVID-19. METHODS: Between November 2020 and May 2021, in this pilot, case-control study, we recruited 20 patients with severe or critical COVID-19 (mean age of 59 ± 12 years), while 10 age and sex-matched individuals served as the control group. Aortic inflammation was assessed by measuring 18F-FDG uptake in PET/CT performed 20-120 days post-admission. Global aortic target to background ratio (GLA-TBR) was calculated as the sum of TBRs of ascending and descending aorta, aortic arch, and abdominal aorta divided by 4. Index aortic segment TBR (IAS-TBR) was designated as the aortic segment with the highest TBR. RESULTS: There was no significant difference in aortic 18F-FDG PET/CT uptake between patients and controls (GLA-TBR: 1.46 [1.40-1.57] vs. 1.43 [1.32-1.70], respectively, P = 0.422 and IAS-TBR: 1.60 [1.50-1.67] vs. 1.50 [1.42-1.61], respectively, P = 0.155). There was a moderate correlation between aortic TBR values (both GLA and IAS) and time distance from admission to 18F-FDG PET-CT scan (Spearman's rho = - 0.528, P = 0.017 and Spearman's rho = - 0.480, p = 0.032, respectively). Patients who were scanned less than or equal to 60 days from admission (n = 11) had significantly higher GLA-TBR values compared to patients that were examined more than 60 days post-admission (GLA-TBR: 1.53 [1.42-1.60] vs. 1.40 [1.33-1.45], respectively, P = 0.016 and IAS-TBR: 1.64 [1.51-1.74] vs. 1.52 [1.46-1.60], respectively, P = 0.038). There was a significant difference in IAS- TBR between patients scanned ≤ 60 days and controls (1.64 [1.51-1.74] vs. 1.50 [1.41-1.61], P = 0.036). CONCLUSION: This is the first study suggesting that aortic inflammation, as assessed by 18F-FDG PET/CT imaging, is increased in the early post COVID phase in patients with severe or critical COVID-19 and largely resolves over time. Our findings may have important implications for the understanding of the course of the disease and for improving our preventive and therapeutic strategies.

2.
Blood Press ; 31(1): 71-79, 2022 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1805938

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The Covid-19 pandemic necessitated a decrease in non-Covid-19 related diagnostic and therapeutic procedures in many countries. We explored the impact on tertiary hypertension care. METHODS: We conducted an electronic survey regarding 6 key procedures in hypertension care within the Excellence Center network of the European Society of Hypertension. RESULTS: Overall, 54 Excellence Centers from 18 European and 3 non-European countries participated. From 2019 to 2020, there were significant decreases in the median number per centre of ambulatory blood pressure monitorings (ABPM: 544/289 for 2019/2020), duplex ultrasound of renal arteries (Duplex RA: 88.5/55), computed tomographic/magnetic resonance imaging angiography of renal arteries (CT/MRI RA: 66/19.5), percutaneous angioplasties of renal arteries (PTA RA: 5/1), laboratory tests for catecholamines (116/67.5) and for renin/aldosterone (146/83.5) (p < 0.001 for all comparisons, respectively). While reductions in all assessed diagnostic and therapeutic procedures were observed in all annual 3-months periods in the comparisons between 2019 and 2020, the most pronounced reduction occurred between April and June 2020, which was the period of the first wave and the first lockdown in most affected countries. In this period, the median reductions in 2020, as compared to 2019, were 50.7% (ABPM), 47.1% (Duplex RA), 50% (CT/MRI RA), 57.1% (PTA RA), 46.9% (catecholamines) and 41.0% (renin/aldosterone), respectively. Overall differences in reduction between 3-month time intervals were statistically highly significant. CONCLUSION: Diagnostic and therapeutic procedures related to hypertension were dramatically reduced during the first year of the Covid-19 pandemic, with the largest reduction during the first lockdown. The long-term consequences regarding blood pressure control and, ultimately, cardiovascular events remain to be investigated.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Hypertension , Aldosterone , Antihypertensive Agents/therapeutic use , Blood Pressure , Blood Pressure Monitoring, Ambulatory/methods , COVID-19/epidemiology , Catecholamines , Communicable Disease Control , Humans , Hypertension/diagnosis , Hypertension/drug therapy , Hypertension/epidemiology , Pandemics , Renin
4.
Hypertens Res ; 45(5): 911-914, 2022 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1740437

ABSTRACT

Although the effect of face masks on preventing airborne transmission of SARS-CoV-2 is well studied, no study has evaluated their effect on blood pressure (BP). Therefore, we investigated the effect of surgical masks on BP in 265 treated hypertensive patients. Following the routine mask-on office BP measurement, patients were left alone and randomized to automated office BP measurement, with measurements taken after first wearing a mask for 10 min, then without wearing the mask for 10 min, and vice versa. Among the participants, 115 were women (43.4%), the mean age was 62 ± 12 years, and the mean office BP was 134 ± 15/81 ± 12 mmHg. There was no significant difference between mask-on unattended systolic BP (133 ± 15 mmHg) and mask-off unattended systolic BP (132 ± 15 mmHg) (P = 0.13) or between mask-on unattended diastolic BP (77 ± 13 mmHg) and mask-off unattended diastolic BP (76 ± 13 mmHg) (P = 0.32). Surgical masks had no effect on BP in treated hypertensive patients.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Hypertension , Aged , Blood Pressure/physiology , Blood Pressure Determination , Female , Humans , Male , Masks , Middle Aged , SARS-CoV-2
5.
Hypertens Res ; 45(5): 846-855, 2022 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1735235

ABSTRACT

To fight the COVID-19 pandemic, messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccines were the first to be adopted by vaccination programs worldwide. We sought to investigate the short-term effect of mRNA vaccine administration on endothelial function and arterial stiffness. Thirty-two participants (mean age 37 ± 8 years, 20 men) who received the BNT162b2 mRNA COVID-19 vaccine were studied in three sessions in a sequence-randomized, sham-controlled, assessor-blinded, crossover design. The primary outcome was endothelial function (assessed by brachial artery flow-mediated dilatation (FMD)), and the secondary outcomes were aortic stiffness (evaluated with carotid-femoral pulse wave velocity (PWV)) and inflammation (measured by high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hsCRP) in blood samples). The outcomes were assessed prior to and at 8 h and 24 h after the 1st dose of vaccine and at 8 h, 24 h, and 48 h after the 2nd dose. There was an increase in hsCRP that was apparent at 24 h after both the 1st dose (-0.60 [95% confidence intervals [CI]: -1.60 to -0.20], p = 0.013) and the 2nd dose (maximum median difference at 48 h -6.60 [95% CI: -9.80 to -3.40], p < 0.001) compared to placebo. The vaccine did not change PWV. FMD remained unchanged during the 1st dose but decreased significantly by 1.5% (95% CI: 0.1% to 2.9%, p = 0.037) at 24 h after the 2nd dose. FMD values returned to baseline at 48 h. Our study shows that the mRNA vaccine causes a prominent increase in inflammatory markers, especially after the 2nd dose, and a transient deterioration of endothelial function at 24 h that returns to baseline at 48 h. These results confirm the short-term cardiovascular safety of the vaccine.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Vascular Stiffness , Adult , Brachial Artery , C-Reactive Protein/metabolism , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Vaccines , Cross-Over Studies , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics , Pulse Wave Analysis , RNA, Messenger , Vaccines, Synthetic
6.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-292295

ABSTRACT

Aim: Arterial involvement has been implicated in the coronavirus disease of 2019 (COVID-19). 18F-fluoro-2-deoxy-d-glucose positron emission tomography/computed tomography (18F-FDG PET/CT) imaging is a valuable tool for the assessment of disease severity in different types of vasculitis and is a predictor of outcome. We sought to prospectively assess the presence of aortic inflammation and its time-dependent trend by measuring the 18-FDG uptake in PET/CT in patients with severe or critical COVID-19. Methods: In this pilot case control study, we recruited 20 patients, who were admitted with severe or critical COVID-19 illness. Patients underwent imaging between 20 to 120 days after hospital admission. Ten age- and sex-matched individuals with prior history of malignancy but free of active disease served as the control group. Arterial inflammation was assessed by measuring 18-FDG uptake in PET/CT and calculating aortic target to blood ratio (TBR). Results: There was a significant correlation between aortic TBR values and time distance from diagnosis to 18F-FDG PET/CT scan (-rho- =0.547, p=0.015) even after adjustment for confounders (p=0.002). Patients who were scanned less than 60 days (median) from diagnosis had significantly higher TBR values compared to patients examined more than 60 days post-diagnosis (1.55 [1.47-1.61] vs 1.40 [1.33-1.45], respectively, p=0.013). Conclusion: This is the first study suggesting that 18 FDG PET/CT imaging could be used for assessment of arterial inflammation in patients with severe/critical COVID-19. These findings may have important implications for the understanding of the pathophysiology and the course of the disease and for improving our preventive and therapeutic strategies.

8.
J Hypertens ; 39(6): 1077-1089, 2021 06 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1219489

ABSTRACT

SUMMARY: The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic considerably affects health, wellbeing, social, economic and other aspects of daily life. The impact of COVID-19 on blood pressure (BP) control and hypertension remains insufficiently explored. We therefore provide a comprehensive review of the potential changes in lifestyle factors and behaviours as well as environmental changes likely to influence BP control and cardiovascular risk during the pandemic. This includes the impact on physical activity, dietary patterns, alcohol consumption and the resulting consequences, for example increases in body weight. Other risk factors for increases in BP and cardiovascular risk such as smoking, emotional/psychologic stress, changes in sleep patterns and diurnal rhythms may also exhibit significant changes in addition to novel factors such as air pollution and environmental noise. We also highlight potential preventive measures to improve BP control because hypertension is the leading preventable risk factor for worldwide health during and beyond the COVID-19 pandemic.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Hypertension/epidemiology , Life Style , Stress, Psychological , Humans , Pandemics , Risk Factors , SARS-CoV-2 , Smoking , Socioeconomic Factors
9.
Ann Neurol ; 89(2): 380-388, 2021 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-938391

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: Emerging data indicate an increased risk of cerebrovascular events with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) and highlight the potential impact of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) on the management and outcomes of acute stroke. We conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis to evaluate the aforementioned considerations. METHODS: We performed a meta-analysis of observational cohort studies reporting on the occurrence and/or outcomes of patients with cerebrovascular events in association with their SARS-CoV-2 infection status. We used a random-effects model. Summary estimates were reported as odds ratios (ORs) and corresponding 95% confidence intervals (CIs). RESULTS: We identified 18 cohort studies including 67,845 patients. Among patients with SARS-CoV-2, 1.3% (95% CI = 0.9-1.6%, I2 = 87%) were hospitalized for cerebrovascular events, 1.1% (95% CI = 0.8-1.3%, I2 = 85%) for ischemic stroke, and 0.2% (95% CI = 0.1-0.3%, I2 = 64%) for hemorrhagic stroke. Compared to noninfected contemporary or historical controls, patients with SARS-CoV-2 infection had increased odds of ischemic stroke (OR = 3.58, 95% CI = 1.43-8.92, I2 = 43%) and cryptogenic stroke (OR = 3.98, 95% CI = 1.62-9.77, I2 = 0%). Diabetes mellitus was found to be more prevalent among SARS-CoV-2 stroke patients compared to noninfected historical controls (OR = 1.39, 95% CI = 1.00-1.94, I2 = 0%). SARS-CoV-2 infection status was not associated with the likelihood of receiving intravenous thrombolysis (OR = 1.42, 95% CI = 0.65-3.10, I2 = 0%) or endovascular thrombectomy (OR = 0.78, 95% CI = 0.35-1.74, I2 = 0%) among hospitalized ischemic stroke patients during the COVID-19 pandemic. Odds of in-hospital mortality were higher among SARS-CoV-2 stroke patients compared to noninfected contemporary or historical stroke patients (OR = 5.60, 95% CI = 3.19-9.80, I2 = 45%). INTERPRETATION: SARS-CoV-2 appears to be associated with an increased risk of ischemic stroke, and potentially cryptogenic stroke in particular. It may also be related to an increased mortality risk. ANN NEUROL 2021;89:380-388.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Diabetes Mellitus/epidemiology , Hospital Mortality , SARS-CoV-2 , Stroke/epidemiology , Case-Control Studies , Comorbidity , Humans , Thrombectomy/statistics & numerical data , Thrombolytic Therapy/statistics & numerical data
12.
JAMA Netw Open ; 3(6): e2013136, 2020 06 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-614050

ABSTRACT

Importance: Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 infection has evolved into a global pandemic. Low-dose colchicine combines anti-inflammatory action with a favorable safety profile. Objective: To evaluate the effect of treatment with colchicine on cardiac and inflammatory biomarkers and clinical outcomes in patients hospitalized with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Design, Setting, and Participants: In this prospective, open-label, randomized clinical trial (the Greek Study in the Effects of Colchicine in COVID-19 Complications Prevention), 105 patients hospitalized with COVID-19 were randomized in a 1:1 allocation from April 3 to April 27, 2020, to either standard medical treatment or colchicine with standard medical treatment. The study took place in 16 tertiary hospitals in Greece. Intervention: Colchicine administration (1.5-mg loading dose followed by 0.5 mg after 60 min and maintenance doses of 0.5 mg twice daily) with standard medical treatment for as long as 3 weeks. Main Outcomes and Measures: Primary end points were (1) maximum high-sensitivity cardiac troponin level; (2) time for C-reactive protein to reach more than 3 times the upper reference limit; and (3) time to deterioration by 2 points on a 7-grade clinical status scale, ranging from able to resume normal activities to death. Secondary end points were (1) the percentage of participants requiring mechanical ventilation, (2) all-cause mortality, and (3) number, type, severity, and seriousness of adverse events. The primary efficacy analysis was performed on an intention-to-treat basis. Results: A total of 105 patients were evaluated (61 [58.1%] men; median [interquartile range] age, 64 [54-76] years) with 50 (47.6%) randomized to the control group and 55 (52.4%) to the colchicine group. Median (interquartile range) peak high-sensitivity cardiac troponin values were 0.0112 (0.0043-0.0093) ng/mL in the control group and 0.008 (0.004-0.0135) ng/mL in the colchicine group (P = .34). Median (interquartile range) maximum C-reactive protein levels were 4.5 (1.4-8.9) mg/dL vs 3.1 (0.8-9.8) mg/dL (P = .73), respectively. The clinical primary end point rate was 14.0% in the control group (7 of 50 patients) and 1.8% in the colchicine group (1 of 55 patients) (odds ratio, 0.11; 95% CI, 0.01-0.96; P = .02). Mean (SD) event-free survival time was 18.6 (0.83) days the in the control group vs 20.7 (0.31) in the colchicine group (log rank P = .03). Adverse events were similar in the 2 groups, except for diarrhea, which was more frequent with colchicine group than the control group (25 patients [45.5%] vs 9 patients [18.0%]; P = .003). Conclusions and Relevance: In this randomized clinical trial, participants who received colchicine had statistically significantly improved time to clinical deterioration. There were no significant differences in high-sensitivity cardiac troponin or C-reactive protein levels. These findings should be interpreted with caution. Trial Registration: ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT04326790.


Subject(s)
C-Reactive Protein/metabolism , Colchicine/therapeutic use , Coronavirus Infections/drug therapy , Fibrin Fibrinogen Degradation Products/metabolism , Pneumonia, Viral/drug therapy , Troponin/metabolism , Tubulin Modulators/therapeutic use , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Betacoronavirus , COVID-19 , Cause of Death , Coronavirus Infections/metabolism , Diarrhea/chemically induced , Disease Progression , Female , Greece , Hospitalization , Humans , Inflammation/metabolism , Kaplan-Meier Estimate , Male , Middle Aged , Mortality , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/metabolism , Respiration, Artificial/statistics & numerical data , SARS-CoV-2 , Time Factors , Treatment Outcome
13.
Clin Res Cardiol ; 109(12): 1483-1489, 2020 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-549230

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: In the era of the current COVID-19 health crisis, the aim of the present study was to explore population behavior as regards the visits in the Εmergency Cardiology department (ECD) of a tertiary General Hospital that does not hospitalize SARS-CoV-2 infected patients METHODS AND RESULTS: Daily number of visits at the EDC and admissions to Cardiology Wards and Intensive Care Unit of a tertiary General Hospital, in Athens, Greece, were retrieved from hospital's database (January 1st-April 30th 2018, 2019 and 2020). A highly significant reduction in the visits at ECD of the hospital during March and April 2020 was observed as compared with January and February of the same year (p for linear trend < ·001); in particular the number of visits was 41.1% lower in March 2020 and 32.7% lower in April 2020, as compared to January 2020. As the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases throughout the country increased (i.e., from February 26th to April 2nd) the number of visits at ECD decreased (p = 0.01), whereas, the opposite was observed in the period afterwards (p = 0.01).The number of acute Myocardial infarctions (MI) cases in March 2020 was the lowest compared to the entire three year period (p < 0·001); however, the number of acute MI cases in April 2020 was doubled as compared to March 2020, but still was lower than the preceding years (p < 0·001). CONCLUSIONS: It is hard to explain the mystery of the "missing" emergency hospital visits. However, if this decline in cardiovascular disease related hospital visits is "true", it is something that needs to be rigorously studied, to learn how to keep these rates down.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/prevention & control , Cardiology Service, Hospital/trends , Cardiovascular Diseases/therapy , Emergency Service, Hospital/trends , Hospitals, General/trends , Patient Acceptance of Health Care , Patient Admission/trends , Tertiary Care Centers/trends , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/transmission , Cardiovascular Diseases/diagnosis , Cardiovascular Diseases/epidemiology , Greece/epidemiology , Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice , Health Services Accessibility/trends , Health Services Needs and Demand/trends , Humans , Retrospective Studies , Time Factors
14.
Minerva Cardioangiol ; 68(4): 347-358, 2020 Aug.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-420188

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is the cause of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) which recently has been characterized as a pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO) having killed almost 250,000 people worldwide as of May 4th, 2020. Despite the fact that SARS-CoV-2 seems to predominantly affect the respiratory system leading to pneumonia and acute respiratory distress syndrome, it is now evident that it may also affect the cardiovascular system in multiple ways. The current paper is a review of the most recent literature regarding SARS-CoV-2 infection and its associated main cardiovascular clinical manifestations. Cardiovascular disease represents a prevalent underlying comorbidity associated with increased mortality rates among COVID-19 affected individuals. In addition, various cardiovascular manifestations have been linked to the viral insult, including among others acute coronary syndromes, myocarditis, acute heart failure, cardiac injury, arrhythmias and acute pulmonary embolism. Further studies are required in order to establish the complicated association between SARS-CoV-2 infection and its effects on the cardiovascular system. Our knowledge regarding diagnostic approaches, therapeutic management and preventive measures is constantly enriched throughout an abundance of ongoing research in the respective fields.


Subject(s)
Cardiovascular Diseases/etiology , Coronavirus Infections/complications , Pneumonia, Viral/complications , COVID-19 , Cardiovascular Diseases/therapy , Coronavirus Infections/therapy , Humans , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/therapy
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