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EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-296428


Background: The pathological features of severe cardiac injury induced by COVID-19 and relevant clinical features is unknown.<br><br>Methods: This autopsy cohort study, including hearts from 26 deceased patients hospitalized in intensive care unit due to COVID-19, was conducted at four sites in Wuhan, China. Cases were divided into neutrophil-infiltration group and no-neutrophil group according to histopathological identification of neutrophilic infiltrates or not.<br><br>Findings: Among 26 cases, four cases had active myocarditis with histopathological examination. All cases with myocarditis accompanied with extensive neutrophil infiltration, while cases without myocarditis did not. Detection rates of interleukin-6 (100% vs 4.6%) and tumor necrosis factor-α (100% vs 31.8%) in neutrophil-infiltration group were significantly higher compared to no-neutrophil group (p<0.05 for both). At admission, patients with neutrophil infiltration in myocardium had significantly higher baseline values of aspartate aminotransferase, D dimer and high-sensitivity C reactive protein compared to other 22 patients (p<0.05 for all). During hospitalization, patients with neutrophil infiltration had a significantly higher maximum of creatine kinase (CK)-MB (median 280.0 vs 38.7IU/L, p=0.04), and a quantitatively higher top Troponin I (median 1.112 vs 0.220ng/ml, p=0.56) than patients without neutrophil infiltration.<br><br>Interpretation: In hearts from deceased patients with severe COVID-19 , active myocarditis was commonly infiltrated with neutrophils. Cases with neutrophil-infiltrated myocarditis had a series of severe abnormal laboratory tests at admission, and a high maximum of CK-MB during hospitalization. Role of neutrophil on severe heart injury and even systemic condition in COVID-19 should be emphasized.<br><br>Funding Information: : Emergency Key Program of Guangzhou Laboratory, Grant No. EKPG21-32. <br><br>Declaration of Interests: None exist.<br><br>Ethics Approval Statement: Full autopsy was performed after patient death with the approval of the ethics committees and written consent of patient relatives in accordance with regulations issued by the National Health Commission of China and the Helsinki Declaration.