Am J Cardiol. 2020 Jul 13:S0002-9149(20)30678-0. doi: 10.1016/j.amjcard.2020.07.010. Online ahead of print.
The cardiac involvement in Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is still under evaluation, especially in severe COVID-19-related Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS). The cardiac involvement was assessed by serial troponin levels and echocardiograms in 28 consecutive patients with COVID-19 ARDS consecutively admitted to our Intensive Care Unit from March 1 to March 31. Twenty-eight COVID-19 patients (aged 61.7 ± 10 years, males 79%). The majority was mechanically ventilated (86%) and 4 patients (14%) required veno-venous extracorporeal membrane oxygenation. As of March 31, the Intensive Care Unit mortality rate was 7%, whereas 7 patients were discharged (25%) with a length of stay of 8.2 ±5 days. At echocardiographic assessment on admission, acute core pulmonale was detected in 2 patients who required extracorporeal membrane oxygenation support. Increased systolic arterial pressure was detected in all patients. Increased Troponin T levels were detectable in 11 patients (39%) on admission. At linear regression analysis, troponin T showed a direct relationship with C-reactive Protein (R square: 0.082, F: 5.95, p = 0.017). In conclusions, in COVID-19-related ARDS, increased in Tn levels was common but not associated with alterations in wall motion kinesis, thus suggesting that troponin T elevation is likely to be multifactorial, mainly linked to disease severely (as inferred by the relation between Tn and C-reactive Protein). The increase in systolic pulmonary arterial pressures observed in all patients may be related to hypoxic vasoconstriction. Further studies are needed to confirm our findings in larger cohorts.