Int Arch Allergy Immunol. 2021 May 19:1-10. doi: 10.1159/000515253. Online ahead of print.
PURPOSE: The aim of this study is to evaluate the frequency of cardiac involvement in patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), possible immune mechanisms of myocardial injury, and the place of cardiovascular pathology among other prognostic factors.
METHODS: The study included 86 patients (48 male, 60.2 ± 16.6 years) with COVID-19. In addition to common investigation, examination of troponin T (n = 18) and anti-heart antibodies (AHA, n = 34) were used. The average hospital period was 14 [12; 18] days.
RESULTS: The incidence of cardiovascular disease and symptoms was 45.3%. Arrhythmias, heart failure, low-QRS voltage, repolarization disorders, and pericardial effusion were the typical for coronavirus cardiac injury. The level of AHA was increased in 73.5%. Significant (p < 0.05) correlations of AHA level with inflammatory activity, pneumonia, respiratory failure, cardiac symptoms, and death were found. D-dimer >0.5 μg/mL had a sensitivity of 79.2% and specificity of 60% in the prediction of cardiovascular manifestations. Cardiac failure was one of the causes of death in 3/8 patients (37.5%). Lethality in the presence of cardiovascular pathology was 17.9 versus 2.2% without it, p < 0.05. The most powerful prognostic model includes age, diabetes, oxygen therapy volume, maximum leukocyte level, C-reactive protein, and D-dimer (correlation coefficient 0.871, p < 0.001). The model with only age, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease included also had predictive power (correlation coefficient 0.568, p < 0.001).
CONCLUSIONS: The cardiovascular pathology is frequent in patients with COVID-19 and strong correlates with the D-dimer. It indicates the high significance of prothrombotic and ischemic mechanisms. High AHA levels may reflect an inflammatory heart injury. The cardiovascular pathology is associated with higher lethality.