Cardiac assessment of patients during post COVID-19 recovery phase: a prospective observational study

Deepak Sharma, Amit Rohila, Surender Deora, Mahendra Kumar Garg, Sanjeev Misra


Introduction: The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). It usually presents as a respiratory syndrome but also known to cause many cardiovascular complications during acute phase. However,  little is documented about cardiac complications during the post COVID-19 recovery phase. Therefore, this prospective observational study was planned to evaluate cardiovascular effects of the disease in patients recovering from COVID-19.

Methods: This was a prospective observational study with a total of 63 patients presenting at 6-month follow-up in post COVID-19 outpatient clinics. Patients with known cases of underlying ischemic heart disease, cardiomyopathy, or any other cardiac disorder, and patients with chronic lung disorder or severe anemia were excluded.

Results: Dyspnea was the most common presenting complaint. In biochemical parameters, none of them showed any significant difference between these two groups including NT pro BNP, ferritin, CK-MB. But NT pro BNP was high in moderate/severe cases, especially those having reduced ejection fraction. On echocardiographic evaluation, LVEF was low in moderate/severe group patients (59.7% vs. 51.1%, p<0.0001). LV diastolic dysfunction was also observed more commonly in moderate/severe group patients (55.9% vs. 86.2%, p= 0.009). There was no significant difference in RV function assessment parameters.

Conclusion: Patients in the moderate/severe group during index hospitalization for COVID-19 should be followed up with NT Pro BNP and echocardiography. This may help in early recognition of heart failure during follow-up of COVID-19 patients. 

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