Pathogens. 2022 Oct 16;11(10):1191. doi: 10.3390/pathogens11101191.
INTRODUCTION: Influenza and the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) are two potentially severe viral infections causing significant morbidity and mortality. The causative viruses, influenza A/B and the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV2) can cause both pulmonary and extra-pulmonary disease, including cardiovascular involvement. The objective of this study was to determine the levels of cardiac biomarkers in hospitalized patients infected with influenza or COVID-19 and their correlation with secondary outcomes.
METHODS: We performed a retrospective comparative analysis of cardiac biomarkers in patients hospitalized at our department with influenza or COVID-19 by measuring high-sensitivity troponin-T (hs-TnT) and creatinine kinase (CK) in plasma. Secondary outcomes were intensive care unit (ICU) admission and all-cause in-hospital mortality.
RESULTS: We analyzed the data of 250 influenza patients and 366 COVID-19 patients. 58.6% of patients with influenza and 46.2% of patients with COVID-19 presented with increased hs-TnT levels. Patients of both groups with increased hs-TnT levels were significantly more likely to require ICU treatment or to die during their hospital stay. Compared with COVID-19, cardiac biomarkers were significantly higher in patients affected by influenza of all age groups, regardless of pre-existing cardiovascular disease. In patients aged under 65 years, no significant difference in ICU admission and mortality was detected between influenza and COVID-19, whereas significantly more COVID-19 patients 65 years or older died or required intensive care treatment.
CONCLUSIONS: Our study shows that increased cardiac biomarkers are associated with higher mortality and ICU admission in both, influenza and SARS-CoV-2-infected patients. Cardiac biomarkers are higher in the influenza cohort; however, this does not translate into worse outcomes when compared with the COVID-19 cohort.