Heart Fail Rev. 2020 Jul 27. doi: 10.1007/s10741-020-10008-2. Online ahead of print.
Heart failure is a common disease state that can be encountered at different stages in the course of a COVID-19 patient presentation. New or existing heart failure in the setting of COVID-19 can present a set of unique challenges that can complicate presentation, management, and prognosis. A careful understanding of the hemodynamic and diagnostic implications is essential for appropriate triage and management of these patients. Abnormal cardiac biomarkers are common in COVID-19 and can stem from a variety of mechanisms that involve the viral entry itself through the ACE2 receptors, direct cardiac injury, increased thrombotic activity, stress cardiomyopathy, and among others. The cytokine storm observed in this pandemic can be a culprit in many of the observed mechanisms and presentations. A correct understanding of the two-way interaction between heart failure medications and the infection as well as the proposed COVID-19 medications and heart failure can result in optimal management. Guideline-directed medical therapy for heart failure should not be interrupted for theoretical concerns but rather based on tolerance and clinical presentation. Initiating specific cardiac or heart failure medications to prevent the infection or mitigate the disease is also not an evidence-based practice at this time. Heart failure patients on advanced therapies including those with heart transplantation will particularly benefit from involving the advanced heart failure team members in the overall management if they contract the virus.