Indian Pacing Electrophysiol J. 2020 Aug 16:S0972-6292(20)30087-5. doi: 10.1016/j.ipej.2020.08.001. Online ahead of print.
BACKGROUND: Studies have shown that cardiac arrhythmias may occur in up to 44% of patients with severe coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and has been associated with an increased risk of death. This systematic review and meta-analysis aimed to evaluate the incidence of cardiac arrhythmias in patients with COVID-19 and their implications on patient prognosis.
METHODS: We performed a systematic literature search from PubMed, SCOPUS, Europe PMC, Cochrane Central Databases, and Google Scholar + Preprint Servers. The primary endpoint of the study was poor outcomes including mortality, severe COVID-19, and the need for ICU care.
RESULTS: A total of 4 studies including 784 patients were analyzed. The incidence of arrhythmia in patients with COVID-19 was 19% (9-28%; I2: 91.45). Arrhythmia occurred in 48% (38-57%; I2: 48.08) of patients with poor outcome and 6% (1-12%; I2: 85.33%) of patients without poor outcome. Patients with COVID-19 experiencing arrhythmia had an increased risk of poor outcome (RR 7.96 [3.77, 16.81], p < 0.001; I2: 71.1%). The funnel-plot analysis showed an asymmetrical funnel plot with most of the studies on the right side of the effect estimate. The regression-based Egger's test showed indication of small-study effects (p = 0.001).
CONCLUSION: Cardiac arrhythmias were significantly associated with an increased risk of poor outcome in COVID-19. Arrhythmias were observed in 19% of patients with COVID-19 and in 48% of patients with COVID-19 and poor outcomes.