New study examines the effect of COVID-19 on the cardiovascular system

A new study has been published in which serological markers of cardiac injury and cardiac magnetic resonance (CMR) imaging were used to examine the effects of COVID-19 on the cardiovascular system.

Case studies and autopsy reports suggest that COVID-19 exacerbates existing cardiac conditions, and may contribute to poor outcomes. However, although myocardial inflammation has been proposed as the underlying cause, our understanding of the aetiology of cardiovascular complications of COVID-19 is incomplete. To shed light on the mechanisms underlying cardiac involvement of COVID-19, the authors of the study evaluated the presence of myocardial injury in 100 unselected patients who had recently recovered from COVID-19.

CMR revealed cardiac involvement in 78 patients (78%) and ongoing myocardial inflammation in 60 patients (60%). This cardiac involvement was independent of pre-existing conditions, severity and course of COVID-19 infection, and time from diagnosis. The authors state: ‘These findings indicate the need for ongoing investigation of the long-term cardiovascular consequences of COVID-19.’