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Bispebjerg Hospital - a part of Copenhagen University Hospital
E-pub ahead of print

Recovery of Cardiac Function Following COVID-19 - ECHOVID-19: A Prospective Longitudinal Cohort Study

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AIMS: The degree of cardiovascular sequelae following COVID-19 remains unknown. The aim of this study was to investigate whether cardiac function recovers following COVID-19.

METHODS AND RESULTS: A consecutive sample of patients hospitalized with COVID-19 was prospectively included in this longitudinal study. All patients underwent an echocardiographic examination during hospitalization and 2 months later. All participants were successfully matched 1:1 with COVID-19-free controls by age and sex. A total of 91 patients were included (mean age 63 ± 12 years, 59% male). A median of 77 days (interquartile range: 72-92) passed between the two examinations. Right ventricular (RV) function improved following resolution of COVID-19: tricuspid annular plane systolic excursion (TAPSE) (2.28 ± 0.40 cm vs. 2.11 ± 0.38 cm, P < 0.001) and RV longitudinal strain (RVLS) (25.3 ± 5.5% vs. 19.9 ± 5.8%, P < 0.001). In contrast, left ventricular (LV) systolic function assessed by global longitudinal strain (GLS) did not significantly improve (17.4 ± 2.9% vs. 17.6 ± 3.3%, P = 0.6). N-terminal pro-B-type natriuretic peptide decreased between the two examinations [177.6 (80.3-408.0) ng/L vs. 11.7 (5.7-24.0) ng/L, P < 0.001]. None of the participants had elevated troponins at follow-up compared to 18 (27.7%) during hospitalization. Recovered COVID-19 patients had significantly lower GLS (17.4 ± 2.9% vs. 18.8 ± 2.9%, P < 0.001 and adjusted P = 0.004), TAPSE (2.28 ± 0.40 cm vs. 2.67 ± 0.44 cm, P < 0.001 and adjusted P < 0.001), and RVLS (25.3 ± 5.5% vs. 26.6 ± 5.8%, P = 0.50 and adjusted P < 0.001) compared to matched controls.

CONCLUSION: Acute COVID-19 affected negatively RV function and cardiac biomarkers but recovered following resolution of COVID-19. In contrast, the observed reduced LV function during acute COVID-19 did not improve post-COVID-19. Compared to the matched controls, both LV and RV function remained impaired.

Original languageEnglish
JournalEuropean Journal of Heart Failure
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 12 Sep 2021

    Research areas

  • COVID-19, Follow-up, Recovery following COVID-19, Strain echocardiography

ID: 67612004