Can COVID-19 Affect The Heart? Yes, Say Two Studies

Thursday, 30 Jul, 2020

"It indicates that months after exposure to COVID-19, we can still detect evidence of a heart that's not completely normal".

As these studies showed the involvement of the heart, we have to be more cautious to prevent the chance of getting the infection.

"There are multiple ways during this infection that it can involve the heart", she was quoted saying.

COVID-19 patients are unlikely to spread infectious virus particles beyond nine days after symptoms begin, even though virus is detectable in the nose and throat and stool for much longer, according to data compiled by United Kingdom researchers from 79 studies.

"Our findings demonstrate that participants with a relative paucity of preexisting cardiovascular condition and with mostly home-based recovery had frequent cardiac inflammatory involvement, which was similar to the hospitalized subgroup with regards to severity and extent", the researchers write in the study. Those data were compared with a group of 50 healthy volunteers and 57 volunteers with some underlying health conditions or risk factors.

This damage seemed to be independent of pre-existing conditions or severity. The patients who had recovered from COVID-19 had lower left ventricular ejection fraction, higher left ventricle volumes, higher left ventricle mass, and elevated native T1 and T2 than controls, all of which indicated heart dysfunction. People without symptoms are also likely most contagious soon after becoming infected, they said. Belford was not involved in either study.

The JAMA Cardiology researchers acknowledge that their "study has limitations". More research is needed to determine if similar findings would emerge among a larger group of patients, those under the age of 18 and those now struggling with coronavirus infection rather than simply recovering from it.

Many patients recently recovered from COVID-19 infection have cardiac involvement, according to a study published online July 27 in JAMA Cardiology.

The deceased patients were autopsied at the Institute of Legal Medicine at the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf from April 8 to 18.

"We found evidence of ongoing inflammation within the heart muscle, as well as of the heart's lining in a considerable majority of patients", said Puntmann, a consultant physician, cardiologist and clinical pharmacologist at University Hospital Frankfurt in Germany. Researchers said 33 patients were severely ill and needed hospitalization, while two of the patients underwent mechanical ventilation.

The sample of autopsy cases was small and the "elderly age of the patients might have influenced the results", the researchers wrote. They even added that it was more surprising to see the intensity and prevalence of these findings even though the original illness had been a few weeks away.

"It makes me say, 'We are not done yet, '" he said.

"One pretty much shows that the MRI scan can help diagnose the myocardial injury that occurs due to Covid and it was confirmed on biopsy", she stated.