Cardiac pathology 6 months after hospitalization for COVID-19 and association with the acute disease severity.Am Heart J. 2021 12; 242:61-70.AH
Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) may cause myocardial injury and myocarditis, and reports of persistent cardiac pathology after COVID-19 have raised concerns of long-term cardiac consequences. We aimed to assess the presence of abnormal cardiovascular resonance imaging (CMR) findings in patients recovered from moderate-to-severe COVID-19, and its association with markers of disease severity in the acute phase.
Fifty-eight (49%) survivors from the prospective COVID MECH study, underwent CMR median 175 [IQR 105-217] days after COVID-19 hospitalization. Abnormal CMR was defined as left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) <50% or myocardial scar by late gadolinium enhancement. CMR indices were compared to healthy controls (n = 32), and to circulating biomarkers measured during the index hospitalization.
Abnormal CMR was present in 12 (21%) patients, of whom 3 were classified with major pathology (scar and LVEF <50% or LVEF <40%). There was no difference in the need of mechanical ventilation, length of hospital stay, and vital signs between patients with vs without abnormal CMR after 6 months. Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 viremia and concentrations of inflammatory biomarkers during the index hospitalization were not associated with persistent CMR pathology. Cardiac troponin T and N-terminal pro-B-type natriuretic peptide concentrations on admission, were higher in patients with CMR pathology, but these associations were not significant after adjusting for demographics and established cardiovascular disease.
CMR pathology 6 months after moderate-to-severe COVID-19 was present in 21% of patients and did not correlate with severity of the disease. Cardiovascular biomarkers during COVID-19 were higher in patients with CMR pathology, but with no significant association after adjusting for confounders.
COVID MECH Study ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT04314232.