The international journal of cardiovascular imaging, vol.37, pp.2387-2397, 2021 (SCI-Expanded)
Myocardial injury caused by COVID-19 was reported in hospitalized patients previously. But the information about cardiac consequences of COVID-19 after recovery is limited. The aim of the study was comprehensive echocardiography assessment of right ventricular (RV) in patients recovered from COVID-19. This is a prospective, single-center study. After recovery from COVID-19, echocardiography was performed in consecutive 79 patients that attended follow-up visits from July 15 to November 30, 2020. According to the recovery at home vs hospital, patients were divided into two groups: home recovery (n = 43) and hospital recovery (n = 36). Comparisons were made with age, sex and risk factor-matched control group (n = 41). In addition to conventional echocardiography parameters, RV global longitudinal strain (RV-GLS) and RV free wall strain (RV-FWS) were determined using 2D speckle-tracking echocardiography (2D STE). Of the 79 patients recovered from COVID-19, 43 (55%) recovered at home, while 36 (45%) required hospitalization. The median follow-up duration was 133 +/- 35 (87-184) days. In patients recovered from hospital, RV-GLS and RV-FWS were impaired compared to control group (RV-GLS: -17.3 +/- 6.8 vs. -20.4 +/- 4.9, respectively [p = 0.042]; RV-FWS: -19.0 +/- 8.2 vs. -23.4 +/- 6.2, respectively [p = 0.022]). In subgroup analysis, RV-FWS was impaired in patients severe pneumonia (n = 11) compared to mild-moderate pneumonia (n = 28), without pneumonia (n = 40) and control groups (-15.8 +/- 7.6 vs. -21.6 +/- 7.6 vs. -20.8 +/- 7.7 vs. -23.4 +/- 6.2, respectively, [p = 0.001 for each]) and RV-GLS was impaired compared to control group (-15.2 +/- 6.9 vs. -20.4 +/- 4; respectively, [p = 0.013]). A significant correlation was detected between serum CRP level at hospital admission and both RV-GLS and RV-FWS (r = 0.285, p = 0.006; r = 0.294, p = 0.004, respectively). Age (OR 0.948, p = 0.010), male gender (OR 0.289, p = 0.009), pneumonia on CT (OR 0.019, p = 0.004), and need of steroid in treatment (OR 17.424, p = 0.038) were identifed as independent predictors of impaired RV-FWS (> -18) via multivariate analysis. We demonstrated subclinic dysfunction of RV by 2D-STE in hospitalized patients in relation to the severity of pneumonia after recovery from COVID-19. 2D-STE supplies additional information above standard measures of RV in this cohort and can be used in the follow-up of these patients.