INTRODUCTION: COVID-19 has spread globally in waves, and Danish treatment guidelines have been updated following the first wave. We sought to investigate whether the prognostic values of echocardiographic parameters changed with updates in treatment guidelines and the emergence of novel severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) variants, 20E (EU1) and alpha (B.1.1.7), and further to compare cardiac parameters between patients from the first and second wave.

METHODS: A total of 305 patients hospitalized with COVID-19 were prospectively included, 215 and 90 during the first and second wave, respectively. Treatment in the study was defined as treatment with remdesivir, dexamethasone, or both. Patients were assumed to be infected with the dominant SARS-CoV-2 variant at the time of their hospitalization.

RESULTS: Mean age for the first versus second wave was 68.7 ± 13.6 versus 69.7 ± 15.8 years, and 55% versus 62% were males. Left ventricular (LV) systolic and diastolic function was worse in patients hospitalized during the second wave (LV ejection fraction [LVEF] for first vs. second wave = 58.5 ± 8.1% vs. 52.4 ± 10.6%, p < 0.001; and global longitudinal strain [GLS] = 16.4 ± 4.3% vs. 14.2 ± 4.3%, p < 0.001). In univariable Cox regressions, reduced LVEF (hazard ratio [HR] = 1.07 per 1% decrease, p = 0.002), GLS (HR = 1.21 per 1% decrease, p < 0.001), and tricuspid annular plane systolic excursion (HR = 1.18 per 1 mm decrease, p < 0.001) were associated with COVID-related mortality, but only GLS remained significant in fully adjusted analysis (HR = 1.14, p = 0.02).

CONCLUSION: Reduced GLS was associated with COVID-related mortality independently of wave, treatment, and the SARS-CoV-2 variant. LV function was significantly impaired in patients hospitalized during the second wave.

Original languageEnglish
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)48-57
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 2023


  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • COVID-19
  • Denmark
  • Echocardiography
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prognosis
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • Stroke Volume
  • Ventricular Dysfunction, Left
  • Ventricular Function, Left
  • Global longitudinal strain
  • Prognostics
  • Speckle-tracking echocardiography


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