Intern Emerg Med. 2020 Aug 9. doi: 10.1007/s11739-020-02466-1. Online ahead of print.
In this study, we aimed to assess the association between development of cardiac injury and short-term mortality as well as poor in-hospital outcomes in hospitalized patients with COVID-19. In this prospective, single-center study, we enrolled hospitalized patients with laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 and highly suspicious patients with compatible chest computed tomography features. Cardiac injury was defined as a rise of serum high sensitivity cardiac Troponin-I level above 99th percentile (men: > 26 ng/mL, women: > 11 ng/mL). A total of 386 hospitalized patients with COVID-19 were included. Cardiac injury was present among 115 (29.8%) of the study population. The development of cardiac injury was significantly associated with a higher in-hospital mortality rate compared to those with normal troponin levels (40.9% vs 11.1%, p value < 0.001). It was shown that patients with cardiac injury had a significantly lower survival rate after a median follow-up of 18 days from symptom onset (p log-rank < 0.001). It was further demonstrated in the multivariable analysis that cardiac injury could possibly increase the risk of short-term mortality in hospitalized patients with COVID-19 (HR = 1.811, p-value = 0.023). Additionally, preexisting cardiovascular disease, malignancy, blood oxygen saturation < 90%, leukocytosis, and lymphopenia at presentation were independently associated with a greater risk of developing cardiac injury. Development of cardiac injury in hospitalized patients with COVID-19 was significantly associated with higher rates of in-hospital mortality and poor in-hospital outcomes. Additionally, it was shown that development of cardiac injury was associated with a lower short-term survival rate compared to patients without myocardial damage and could independently increase the risk of short-term mortality by nearly two-fold.