Research in Cardiovascular Medicine

: 2020  |  Volume : 9  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 1--2

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and cardiovascular events

Mohammad Javad Alemzadeh-Ansari 
 Cardiovascular Intervention Research Center, Rajaie Cardiovascular Medical and Research Center, Iran University of Medical Sciences; Cardio-Oncology Research Center, Rajaie Cardiovascular Medical and Research Center, Tehran, Iran

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Mohammad Javad Alemzadeh-Ansari
Cardiovascular Intervention Research Center, Cardio-Oncology Research Center, Rajaie Cardiovascular Medical and Research Center, Tehran

How to cite this article:
Alemzadeh-Ansari MJ. Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and cardiovascular events.Res Cardiovasc Med 2020;9:1-2

How to cite this URL:
Alemzadeh-Ansari MJ. Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and cardiovascular events. Res Cardiovasc Med [serial online] 2020 [cited 2020 Sep 24 ];9:1-2
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Full Text

In December 2019, for the first time, a cluster of atypical viral pneumonia associated with the new coronavirus (COVID-19) was reported in Wuhan, China. The rapid global outbreak of COVID-2019 lead to the World Health Organization (WHO) on March 11, 2020, reported that this is a pandemic disease. Simultaneously, the WHO stated that this is the first known pandemic that can be controlled.[1] The mortality rate of COVID-19 has reported between 1.5% and 3.6% in different countries.[2] The WHO reported that the time between symptom onset and death ranged from about 2 to 8 weeks.[3] The major conditions related to mortality in these patients are elderly, cardiovascular diseases, and diabetes.

Patients with pre-exciting cardiovascular disease are at higher risk of COVID-19 involvement and have a worse prognosis. About 40% of patients affected with COVID-19 had a history of cardiovascular diseases.[4] Interestedly, the mortality rate in patients with COVID-19 and pre-exciting cardiovascular disease is reach to 10.5%.[5] Further, cardiovascular events, including new or worsening heart failure, new or worsening arrhythmia, or myocardial infarction (MI), are common in patients with pneumonia. The previous studies demonstrated that pre-exciting coronary heart disease is associated with acute cardiovascular events and worse prognosis in patients with influenza and other respiratory viral infections.[6],[7],[8] In recent study, Zhou et al. in a retrospective and multicenter cohort study evaluated 191 admitted patients with COVID-19 and found that the elevated levels of blood high-sensitivity cardiac troponin I as a marker of acute cardiac injury are more commonly seen in those with severe COVID-19 illness. In addition, they demonstrated that acute cardiac injury during hospitalization is more than half of those who died (59% vs. 1%; P < 0.0001).[9]

The potential mechanisms of cardiovascular event following acute respiratory infections include:[9],[10],[11],[12]

Increase in pro-inflammatory cytokines secondary to systemic inflammation can act as key mediators of atherosclerosisIncrease in pro-inflammatory cytokines secondary to systemic inflammation may directly impact plaque rupture through local inflammationInduction of pro-coagulant factors and hemodynamic effects predisposes to ischemia and thrombosisOver-expression of angiotensin-converting enzyme 2, the receptor for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2, on the myocytes and vascular endothelial cells (direct cardiac involvement by the virus)The interstitial mononuclear inflammatory infiltrates in a fatal case of COVID-19.

On the other hand, the highly contagious COVID-19 is obviously affecting the diagnosis and treatment of patients with acute MI. Zeng et al. recently reported a protocol for approach to patients with COVID-19 pneumonia. The transmission of patients to nearest primary percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) center prefers to be done with emergency medical services with maximum protection. In this protocol, thrombolytic therapy in an isolation ward is a prefer strategy for stable hemodynamic patients with ST-elevated MI (STEMI) within first 12 h from symptom onset. STEMI patients within the reperfusion time window ([13] This is a protocol of single center; hence, regarding worldwide sparing of COVID-19 and also specific condition of these patients, the comprehensive guidelines based on clinical evidence and consensus opinions are needed. Finally, it is seen that awareness on cardiovascular events and complications in patients with COVID-19 is mandatory, and also, cardiologists should be prepared to assist other clinical specialties (team care) for immediate management of these patients.


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