A recent article published in Science journal (October 23, 2020) entitled COVID-19 can affect the heart reporting that SARS-Cov-19 infection, even with mild or no symptoms, could produce adverse effects in the heart within a Even asymptomatic patients have suffered Covid-19 cardiac damages, now a study involving 160 athletes has a shoking resultsfew months of having contracted the infection.

In this regard, the presence of a heart condition in some hospitalized Covid-19 patients seems increasingly evident. Thus, in a recent paper, it was determined that between 7% and 17% of these patients had elevated troponin (a protein found in the blood when the myocardium is damaged), rising to 22% to 31% in patients admitted to intensive care units (references 1 to 3 of 11). The most common cause of this elevation was myocarditis.

160 young American athletes involved in a study of eventual Covid-19 cardiac damages

More recently, changes have been found in the left and right ventricles of patients with Covid-19, which persist for several weeks and months after the patient has recovered (reference 4 of 11). The effects of these abnormalities are not known. An article has now been published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology , which assesses the effects of Covid-19 on the hearts of 160 young American athletes. Of these,

  • 53 (33.15%) were positive on PCR,
  • 7 (4.3%) had IgG antibodies against SARS-CoV-2, and
  • 4 (2.5%) were positive for both tests.

The methodology used to detect eventual Covid-19 cardiac damages

By 9th August, 54 of the subjects had undergone extensive cardiac imaging studies. Sequential cardiac MRI performed in 48 subjects identified cardiac abnormalities in 27 (56.3%): of these, only 19 (39.5%) showed pericardial late enhancements. That is, more than 1 in 3 young athletes who had experienced mild or asymptomatic Covid-19 infection had varying degrees of pericardial disease.

The authors concluded that, “although the immediate and long-term clinical relevance of these findings remains unclear, […] mild or asymptomatic Covid-19 is not a benign illness, considering that more than one-half of younger individuals showed subclinical myocardial and pericardial disease.” More studies are needed.

 

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