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      Outcomes of Cardiovascular Magnetic Resonance Imaging in Patients Recently Recovered From Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

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          Key Points

          Question

          What are the cardiovascular effects in unselected patients with recent coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)?

          Findings

          In this cohort study including 100 patients recently recovered from COVID-19 identified from a COVID-19 test center, cardiac magnetic resonance imaging revealed cardiac involvement in 78 patients (78%) and ongoing myocardial inflammation in 60 patients (60%), which was independent of preexisting conditions, severity and overall course of the acute illness, and the time from the original diagnosis.

          Meaning

          These findings indicate the need for ongoing investigation of the long-term cardiovascular consequences of COVID-19.

          Abstract

          This cohort study evaluates the presence of myocardial injury in unselected patients recently recovered from coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

          Abstract

          Importance

          Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) continues to cause considerable morbidity and mortality worldwide. Case reports of hospitalized patients suggest that COVID-19 prominently affects the cardiovascular system, but the overall impact remains unknown.

          Objective

          To evaluate the presence of myocardial injury in unselected patients recently recovered from COVID-19 illness.

          Design, Setting, and Participants

          In this prospective observational cohort study, 100 patients recently recovered from COVID-19 illness were identified from the University Hospital Frankfurt COVID-19 Registry between April and June 2020.

          Exposure

          Recent recovery from severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 infection, as determined by reverse transcription–polymerase chain reaction on swab test of the upper respiratory tract.

          Main Outcomes and Measures

          Demographic characteristics, cardiac blood markers, and cardiovascular magnetic resonance (CMR) imaging were obtained. Comparisons were made with age-matched and sex-matched control groups of healthy volunteers (n = 50) and risk factor–matched patients (n = 57).

          Results

          Of the 100 included patients, 53 (53%) were male, and the mean (SD) age was 49 (14) years. The median (IQR) time interval between COVID-19 diagnosis and CMR was 71 (64-92) days. Of the 100 patients recently recovered from COVID-19, 67 (67%) recovered at home, while 33 (33%) required hospitalization. At the time of CMR, high-sensitivity troponin T (hsTnT) was detectable (greater than 3 pg/mL) in 71 patients recently recovered from COVID-19 (71%) and significantly elevated (greater than 13.9 pg/mL) in 5 patients (5%). Compared with healthy controls and risk factor–matched controls, patients recently recovered from COVID-19 had lower left ventricular ejection fraction, higher left ventricle volumes, and raised native T1 and T2. A total of 78 patients recently recovered from COVID-19 (78%) had abnormal CMR findings, including raised myocardial native T1 (n = 73), raised myocardial native T2 (n = 60), myocardial late gadolinium enhancement (n = 32), or pericardial enhancement (n = 22). There was a small but significant difference between patients who recovered at home vs in the hospital for native T1 mapping (median [IQR], 1119 [1092-1150] ms vs 1141 [1121-1175] ms; P = .008) and hsTnT (4.2 [3.0-5.9] pg/dL vs 6.3 [3.4-7.9] pg/dL; P = .002) but not for native T2 mapping. None of these measures were correlated with time from COVID-19 diagnosis (native T1: r = 0.07; P = .47; native T2: r = 0.14; P = .15; hsTnT: r = −0.07; P = .50). High-sensitivity troponin T was significantly correlated with native T1 mapping ( r = 0.33; P < .001) and native T2 mapping ( r = 0.18; P = .01). Endomyocardial biopsy in patients with severe findings revealed active lymphocytic inflammation. Native T1 and T2 were the measures with the best discriminatory ability to detect COVID-19–related myocardial pathology.

          Conclusions and Relevance

          In this study of a cohort of German patients recently recovered from COVID-19 infection, CMR revealed cardiac involvement in 78 patients (78%) and ongoing myocardial inflammation in 60 patients (60%), independent of preexisting conditions, severity and overall course of the acute illness, and time from the original diagnosis. These findings indicate the need for ongoing investigation of the long-term cardiovascular consequences of COVID-19.

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          Most cited references30

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          Research electronic data capture (REDCap)--a metadata-driven methodology and workflow process for providing translational research informatics support.

          Research electronic data capture (REDCap) is a novel workflow methodology and software solution designed for rapid development and deployment of electronic data capture tools to support clinical and translational research. We present: (1) a brief description of the REDCap metadata-driven software toolset; (2) detail concerning the capture and use of study-related metadata from scientific research teams; (3) measures of impact for REDCap; (4) details concerning a consortium network of domestic and international institutions collaborating on the project; and (5) strengths and limitations of the REDCap system. REDCap is currently supporting 286 translational research projects in a growing collaborative network including 27 active partner institutions.
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            Pathological findings of COVID-19 associated with acute respiratory distress syndrome

            Since late December, 2019, an outbreak of a novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19; previously known as 2019-nCoV)1, 2 was reported in Wuhan, China, 2 which has subsequently affected 26 countries worldwide. In general, COVID-19 is an acute resolved disease but it can also be deadly, with a 2% case fatality rate. Severe disease onset might result in death due to massive alveolar damage and progressive respiratory failure.2, 3 As of Feb 15, about 66 580 cases have been confirmed and over 1524 deaths. However, no pathology has been reported due to barely accessible autopsy or biopsy.2, 3 Here, we investigated the pathological characteristics of a patient who died from severe infection with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) by postmortem biopsies. This study is in accordance with regulations issued by the National Health Commission of China and the Helsinki Declaration. Our findings will facilitate understanding of the pathogenesis of COVID-19 and improve clinical strategies against the disease. A 50-year-old man was admitted to a fever clinic on Jan 21, 2020, with symptoms of fever, chills, cough, fatigue and shortness of breath. He reported a travel history to Wuhan Jan 8–12, and that he had initial symptoms of mild chills and dry cough on Jan 14 (day 1 of illness) but did not see a doctor and kept working until Jan 21 (figure 1 ). Chest x-ray showed multiple patchy shadows in both lungs (appendix p 2), and a throat swab sample was taken. On Jan 22 (day 9 of illness), the Beijing Centers for Disease Control (CDC) confirmed by reverse real-time PCR assay that the patient had COVID-19. Figure 1 Timeline of disease course according to days from initial presentation of illness and days from hospital admission, from Jan 8–27, 2020 SARS-CoV-2=severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2. He was immediately admitted to the isolation ward and received supplemental oxygen through a face mask. He was given interferon alfa-2b (5 million units twice daily, atomisation inhalation) and lopinavir plus ritonavir (500 mg twice daily, orally) as antiviral therapy, and moxifloxacin (0·4 g once daily, intravenously) to prevent secondary infection. Given the serious shortness of breath and hypoxaemia, methylprednisolone (80 mg twice daily, intravenously) was administered to attenuate lung inflammation. Laboratory tests results are listed in the appendix (p 4). After receiving medication, his body temperature reduced from 39·0 to 36·4 °C. However, his cough, dyspnoea, and fatigue did not improve. On day 12 of illness, after initial presentation, chest x-ray showed progressive infiltrate and diffuse gridding shadow in both lungs. He refused ventilator support in the intensive care unit repeatedly because he suffered from claustrophobia; therefore, he received high-flow nasal cannula (HFNC) oxygen therapy (60% concentration, flow rate 40 L/min). On day 13 of illness, the patient's symptoms had still not improved, but oxygen saturation remained above 95%. In the afternoon of day 14 of illness, his hypoxaemia and shortness of breath worsened. Despite receiving HFNC oxygen therapy (100% concentration, flow rate 40 L/min), oxygen saturation values decreased to 60%, and the patient had sudden cardiac arrest. He was immediately given invasive ventilation, chest compression, and adrenaline injection. Unfortunately, the rescue was not successful, and he died at 18:31 (Beijing time). Biopsy samples were taken from lung, liver, and heart tissue of the patient. Histological examination showed bilateral diffuse alveolar damage with cellular fibromyxoid exudates (figure 2A, B ). The right lung showed evident desquamation of pneumocytes and hyaline membrane formation, indicating acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS; figure 2A). The left lung tissue displayed pulmonary oedema with hyaline membrane formation, suggestive of early-phase ARDS (figure 2B). Interstitial mononuclear inflammatory infiltrates, dominated by lymphocytes, were seen in both lungs. Multinucleated syncytial cells with atypical enlarged pneumocytes characterised by large nuclei, amphophilic granular cytoplasm, and prominent nucleoli were identified in the intra-alveolar spaces, showing viral cytopathic-like changes. No obvious intranuclear or intracytoplasmic viral inclusions were identified. Figure 2 Pathological manifestations of right (A) and left (B) lung tissue, liver tissue (C), and heart tissue (D) in a patient with severe pneumonia caused by SARS-CoV-2 SARS-CoV-2=severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2. The pathological features of COVID-19 greatly resemble those seen in SARS and Middle Eastern respiratory syndrome (MERS) coronavirus infection.4, 5 In addition, the liver biopsy specimens of the patient with COVID-19 showed moderate microvesicular steatosis and mild lobular and portal activity (figure 2C), indicating the injury could have been caused by either SARS-CoV-2 infection or drug-induced liver injury. There were a few interstitial mononuclear inflammatory infiltrates, but no other substantial damage in the heart tissue (figure 2D). Peripheral blood was prepared for flow cytometric analysis. We found that the counts of peripheral CD4 and CD8 T cells were substantially reduced, while their status was hyperactivated, as evidenced by the high proportions of HLA-DR (CD4 3·47%) and CD38 (CD8 39·4%) double-positive fractions (appendix p 3). Moreover, there was an increased concentration of highly proinflammatory CCR6+ Th17 in CD4 T cells (appendix p 3). Additionally, CD8 T cells were found to harbour high concentrations of cytotoxic granules, in which 31·6% cells were perforin positive, 64·2% cells were granulysin positive, and 30·5% cells were granulysin and perforin double-positive (appendix p 3). Our results imply that overactivation of T cells, manifested by increase of Th17 and high cytotoxicity of CD8 T cells, accounts for, in part, the severe immune injury in this patient. X-ray images showed rapid progression of pneumonia and some differences between the left and right lung. In addition, the liver tissue showed moderate microvesicular steatosis and mild lobular activity, but there was no conclusive evidence to support SARS-CoV-2 infection or drug-induced liver injury as the cause. There were no obvious histological changes seen in heart tissue, suggesting that SARS-CoV-2 infection might not directly impair the heart. Although corticosteroid treatment is not routinely recommended to be used for SARS-CoV-2 pneumonia, 1 according to our pathological findings of pulmonary oedema and hyaline membrane formation, timely and appropriate use of corticosteroids together with ventilator support should be considered for the severe patients to prevent ARDS development. Lymphopenia is a common feature in the patients with COVID-19 and might be a critical factor associated with disease severity and mortality. 3 Our clinical and pathological findings in this severe case of COVID-19 can not only help to identify a cause of death, but also provide new insights into the pathogenesis of SARS-CoV-2-related pneumonia, which might help physicians to formulate a timely therapeutic strategy for similar severe patients and reduce mortality. This online publication has been corrected. The corrected version first appeared at thelancet.com/respiratory on February 25, 2020
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              Endothelial cell infection and endotheliitis in COVID-19

              Cardiovascular complications are rapidly emerging as a key threat in coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in addition to respiratory disease. The mechanisms underlying the disproportionate effect of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection on patients with cardiovascular comorbidities, however, remain incompletely understood.1, 2 SARS-CoV-2 infects the host using the angiotensin converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) receptor, which is expressed in several organs, including the lung, heart, kidney, and intestine. ACE2 receptors are also expressed by endothelial cells. 3 Whether vascular derangements in COVID-19 are due to endothelial cell involvement by the virus is currently unknown. Intriguingly, SARS-CoV-2 can directly infect engineered human blood vessel organoids in vitro. 4 Here we demonstrate endothelial cell involvement across vascular beds of different organs in a series of patients with COVID-19 (further case details are provided in the appendix). Patient 1 was a male renal transplant recipient, aged 71 years, with coronary artery disease and arterial hypertension. The patient's condition deteriorated following COVID-19 diagnosis, and he required mechanical ventilation. Multisystem organ failure occurred, and the patient died on day 8. Post-mortem analysis of the transplanted kidney by electron microscopy revealed viral inclusion structures in endothelial cells (figure A, B ). In histological analyses, we found an accumulation of inflammatory cells associated with endothelium, as well as apoptotic bodies, in the heart, the small bowel (figure C) and lung (figure D). An accumulation of mononuclear cells was found in the lung, and most small lung vessels appeared congested. Figure Pathology of endothelial cell dysfunction in COVID-19 (A, B) Electron microscopy of kidney tissue shows viral inclusion bodies in a peritubular space and viral particles in endothelial cells of the glomerular capillary loops. Aggregates of viral particles (arrow) appear with dense circular surface and lucid centre. The asterisk in panel B marks peritubular space consistent with capillary containing viral particles. The inset in panel B shows the glomerular basement membrane with endothelial cell and a viral particle (arrow; about 150 nm in diameter). (C) Small bowel resection specimen of patient 3, stained with haematoxylin and eosin. Arrows point to dominant mononuclear cell infiltrates within the intima along the lumen of many vessels. The inset of panel C shows an immunohistochemical staining of caspase 3 in small bowel specimens from serial section of tissue described in panel D. Staining patterns were consistent with apoptosis of endothelial cells and mononuclear cells observed in the haematoxylin-eosin-stained sections, indicating that apoptosis is induced in a substantial proportion of these cells. (D) Post-mortem lung specimen stained with haematoxylin and eosin showed thickened lung septa, including a large arterial vessel with mononuclear and neutrophilic infiltration (arrow in upper inset). The lower inset shows an immunohistochemical staining of caspase 3 on the same lung specimen; these staining patterns were consistent with apoptosis of endothelial cells and mononuclear cells observed in the haematoxylin-eosin-stained sections. COVID-19=coronavirus disease 2019. Patient 2 was a woman, aged 58 years, with diabetes, arterial hypertension, and obesity. She developed progressive respiratory failure due to COVID-19 and subsequently developed multi-organ failure and needed renal replacement therapy. On day 16, mesenteric ischaemia prompted removal of necrotic small intestine. Circulatory failure occurred in the setting of right heart failure consequent to an ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction, and cardiac arrest resulted in death. Post-mortem histology revealed lymphocytic endotheliitis in lung, heart, kidney, and liver as well as liver cell necrosis. We found histological evidence of myocardial infarction but no sign of lymphocytic myocarditis. Histology of the small intestine showed endotheliitis (endothelialitis) of the submucosal vessels. Patient 3 was a man, aged 69 years, with hypertension who developed respiratory failure as a result of COVID-19 and required mechanical ventilation. Echocardiography showed reduced left ventricular ejection fraction. Circulatory collapse ensued with mesenteric ischaemia, and small intestine resection was performed, but the patient survived. Histology of the small intestine resection revealed prominent endotheliitis of the submucosal vessels and apoptotic bodies (figure C). We found evidence of direct viral infection of the endothelial cell and diffuse endothelial inflammation. Although the virus uses ACE2 receptor expressed by pneumocytes in the epithelial alveolar lining to infect the host, thereby causing lung injury, the ACE2 receptor is also widely expressed on endothelial cells, which traverse multiple organs. 3 Recruitment of immune cells, either by direct viral infection of the endothelium or immune-mediated, can result in widespread endothelial dysfunction associated with apoptosis (figure D). The vascular endothelium is an active paracrine, endocrine, and autocrine organ that is indispensable for the regulation of vascular tone and the maintenance of vascular homoeostasis. 5 Endothelial dysfunction is a principal determinant of microvascular dysfunction by shifting the vascular equilibrium towards more vasoconstriction with subsequent organ ischaemia, inflammation with associated tissue oedema, and a pro-coagulant state. 6 Our findings show the presence of viral elements within endothelial cells and an accumulation of inflammatory cells, with evidence of endothelial and inflammatory cell death. These findings suggest that SARS-CoV-2 infection facilitates the induction of endotheliitis in several organs as a direct consequence of viral involvement (as noted with presence of viral bodies) and of the host inflammatory response. In addition, induction of apoptosis and pyroptosis might have an important role in endothelial cell injury in patients with COVID-19. COVID-19-endotheliitis could explain the systemic impaired microcirculatory function in different vascular beds and their clinical sequelae in patients with COVID-19. This hypothesis provides a rationale for therapies to stabilise the endothelium while tackling viral replication, particularly with anti-inflammatory anti-cytokine drugs, ACE inhibitors, and statins.7, 8, 9, 10, 11 This strategy could be particularly relevant for vulnerable patients with pre-existing endothelial dysfunction, which is associated with male sex, smoking, hypertension, diabetes, obesity, and established cardiovascular disease, all of which are associated with adverse outcomes in COVID-19.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                JAMA Cardiol
                JAMA Cardiol
                JAMA Cardiology
                American Medical Association
                2380-6583
                2380-6591
                27 July 2020
                November 2020
                25 August 2020
                27 July 2020
                : 5
                : 11
                : 1265-1273
                Affiliations
                [1 ]Institute for Experimental and Translational Cardiovascular Imaging, DZHK Centre for Cardiovascular Imaging, University Hospital Frankfurt, Frankfurt am Main, Germany
                [2 ]Department of Biomedical Sciences and Morphological and Functional Imaging, University of Messina, Messina, Italy
                [3 ]Department of Infectious Diseases, University Hospital Frankfurt, Frankfurt am Main, Germany
                [4 ]Department of Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology, University Hospital Frankfurt, Frankfurt am Main, Germany
                [5 ]Department of Cardiology, Goethe University Hospital Frankfurt, Frankfurt am Main, Germany
                [6 ]Department of Hospital Therapy No. 1, I.M. Sechenov First Moscow State Medical University, Moscow, Russia
                [7 ]Institute for Cardiac Diagnostic and Therapy, Berlin, Germany
                Author notes
                Article Information
                Accepted for Publication: July 6, 2020.
                Published Online: July 27, 2020. doi:10.1001/jamacardio.2020.3557
                Correction: This article was corrected on August 25, 2020, to fix pervasive errors in statistical numbers and data in the Abstract, Methods and Results sections, Tables, and Figures 1 and 2.
                Open Access: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the CC-BY License. © 2020 Puntmann VO et al. JAMA Cardiology.
                Corresponding Author: Eike Nagel, MD, Institute for Experimental and Translational Cardiovascular Imaging, DZHK Centre for Cardiovascular Imaging, University Hospital Frankfurt, Theodor-Stern-Kai 7, Frankfurt am Main 60590, Germany ( eike.nagel@ 123456cardiac-imaging.org ).
                Author Contributions: Drs Puntmann and Nagel had full access to all of the data in the study and take responsibility for the integrity of the data and the accuracy of the data analysis.
                Study concept and design: Puntmann, Shchendrygina, Vasa-Nicotera, Zeiher, Nagel.
                Acquisition, analysis, or interpretation of data: Puntmann, Carerj, Wieters, Fahim, Arendt, Hoffmann, Escher, Vehreschild, Nagel.
                Drafting of the manuscript: Puntmann, Shchendrygina, Nagel.
                Critical revision of the manuscript for important intellectual content: Puntmann, Carerj, Wieters, Fahim, Arendt, Hoffmann, Escher, Vasa-Nicotera, Zeiher, Vehreschild, Nagel.
                Statistical analysis: Puntmann, Nagel.
                Obtained funding: Puntmann, Zeiher, Nagel.
                Administrative, technical, or material support: Puntmann, Carerj, Wieters, Fahim, Arendt, Escher, Vehreschild, Nagel.
                Study supervision: Puntmann, Wieters, Arendt, Vasa-Nicotera, Vehreschild, Nagel.
                Conflict of Interest Disclosures: Dr Escher has received personal fees from Institut Kardiale Diagnostik und Therapie outside the submitted work. Dr Zeiher has received grants from the German Centre for Cardiovascular Research during the conduct of the study and personal fees from Sanofi, Amgen, Boehringer Ingelheim, and Novo Nordisk outside the submitted work. Dr Vehreschild has received grants from BioNTech and Takeda outside the submitted work. Dr Nagel has received grants from Bayer, the German Ministry for Education and Research, Deutsche Herzstiftung e.V., Neosoft Technologies, and Cardio-Pulmonary Institute and personal fees from Bayer. No other disclosures were reported.
                Funding/Support: Drs Puntmann, Arendt, Escher, Vasa-Nicotera, Zeiher, and Nagel were supported by grants from the German Ministry of Education and Research via the German Centre for Cardiovascular Research (DZHK) partner site RheinMain, Deutsche Herzstiftung e.V., Bayer, and Cardio-Pulmonary Institute
                Role of the Funder/Sponsor: The funders had no role in the design and conduct of the study; collection, management, analysis, and interpretation of the data; preparation, review, or approval of the manuscript; and decision to submit the manuscript for publication.
                Additional Contributions: We acknowledge the dedicated support of clinical research support staff of the Institute of Experimental and Translational Cardiovascular Imaging, including Tammy Wolf, Thourier Azdad, Franziska Weis, Deniz Desik, BA, and Layla Laghchioua, MSc, as well as of the Department of Infectious Diseases, University Hospital Frankfurt. We are very grateful to our colleagues of the Department of Anaesthesiology, Intensive Care Medicine and Pain Therapy, University Hospital Frankfurt, Frankfurt am Main, Germany, for treating all critically ill patients with COVID-19. Contributors were not compensated for their work.
                Article
                hoi200057
                10.1001/jamacardio.2020.3557
                7385689
                32730619
                b79b6da6-9c27-48f4-80c5-bb4e33e8ea12
                Copyright 2020 Puntmann VO et al. JAMA Cardiology.

                This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the CC-BY License.

                History
                : 28 June 2020
                : 6 July 2020
                Funding
                Funded by: German Ministry of Education and Research
                Funded by: Deutsche Herzstiftung e.V.
                Funded by: Bayer
                Funded by: Cardio-Pulmonary Institute
                Categories
                Research
                Research
                Original Investigation
                Online First

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