Information regarding the cardiac manifestations of COVID-19 is scarce. We performed a systematic and comprehensive echocardiographic evaluation of consecutive patients hospitalized with COVID-19 infection.
100 consecutive patients diagnosed with COVID-19 infection underwent complete echocardiographic evaluation within 24 hours of admission and were compared to reference values. Echocardiographic studies included left ventricular (LV) systolic and diastolic function, valve hemodynamics and right ventricular (RV) assessment, as well as lung ultrasound. A second exam was performed in case of clinical deterioration.
Thirty two patients (32%) had a normal echocardiogram at baseline. The most common cardiac pathology was RV dilatation and dysfunction (observed in 39% of patients), followed by LV diastolic dysfunction (16%) and LV systolic dysfunction (10%). Patients with elevated troponin (20%) or worse clinical condition did not demonstrate any significant difference in LV systolic function compared to patients with normal troponin or better clinical condition, but had worse RV function. Clinical deterioration occurred in 20% of patients. In these patients, the most common echocardiographic abnormality at follow-up was RV function deterioration (12 patients), followed by LV systolic and diastolic deterioration (in 5 patients). Femoral vein thrombosis (DVT) was diagnosed in 5 of 12 patients with RV failure.
In COVID-19 infection, LV systolic function is preserved in the majority of patients, but LV diastolic and RV function are impaired. Elevated troponin and poorer clinical grade are associated with worse RV function. In patients presenting with clinical deterioration at follow-up, acute RV dysfunction, with or without DVT, is more common, but acute LV systolic dysfunction was noted in ≈20%.