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Nikhil Prasad  Fact checked by:Thailand Medical News Team Dec 27, 2023  1 month, 4 weeks, 17 hours, 43 minutes ago

BREAKING COVID-19 News! Japanese Scientists Warns Of Imminent ‘Cardiac Failure Crisis’ As All Exposed To SARS-CoV-2 Have Reduced Heart Function!

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BREAKING COVID-19 News! Japanese Scientists Warns Of Imminent ‘Cardiac Failure Crisis’ As All Exposed To SARS-CoV-2 Have Reduced Heart Function!
Nikhil Prasad  Fact checked by:Thailand Medical News Team Dec 27, 2023  1 month, 4 weeks, 17 hours, 43 minutes ago
COVID-19 News: In a seismic revelation, Japanese scientists at the esteemed Riken research institute have issued a dire warning about an imminent global crisis: a potential pandemic of heart failure triggered by the aftermath of COVID-19. This grave prediction is grounded in a groundbreaking study that is covered in this COVID-19 News report, highlighting the prevalence of ACE2 receptors, the target of the coronavirus, within human hearts. Alarming findings indicate that individuals exposed to SARS-CoV-2 may be experiencing reduced cardiac function, raising profound concerns about a looming "heart failure pandemic" on a global scale.


 
Furthermore, the study found that majority exposed to the SARS-CoV-2 virus, will have viral persistence with the heart vulnerable to chronic ongoing stress and/or inflammation and/or damage with many not even aware of it and that can lead to serious or fatal outcomes!

While many published studies in the past in Thailand Medical News had already showed that SARS-CoV-2 virus can affect the heart of the human host in a multiple manner of ways and end up causing heart failure, many are still assuming the fallacies that such incidences are rare or that asymptomatic or mild infections are unlikely to lead to such situations! In reality, anyone who has been exposed to the SARS-CoV-2 virus is at very high risk!
 
Heart failures are currently the leading reason behind elevated mortality rates in most countries around the word and these figures are still growing! Unfortunately, most health authorities and officials are unwilling to acknowledge that SARS-CoV-2 infections are behind the rise of such heart failures and deaths!
 
The ACE2 Receptor and Heart Vulnerability
The study underscores the critical role of ACE2 receptors in the heart, which the coronavirus exploits for cellular entry. These receptors are not only present but prevalent in cardiac tissues, making the heart susceptible to SARS-CoV-2 infection. Expressing the gravity of the situation, the researchers emphasize that the COVID-19 pandemic may have permanently altered the medical landscape. Persistent SARS-CoV-2 infections could potentially lead to a significant surge in individuals at risk of future heart failure.
 
Riken Research Leader Dr Hidetoshi Masumoto underscores the urgency, stating, "Some people infected with the coronavirus may have persistent viral infections in their hearts. A testing system and treatment methods must be established in preparation for a 'heart failure pandemic,' in which we will see a rapid increase in the number of heart failure patients."
 
The Shift from Pandemic to Post COVID-19
As the world transitions from the acute phase of the COVID-19 pandemic to the "post COVID-19" era, the focus broadens beyond immediate symptoms to the chronic health implications. The expression of ACE2 receptors in the heart, higher than in other organs, raises profound concerns about the heart's susceptibility to SARS-CoV-2 infection, particularly in individuals with pr e-existing heart conditions.
 
The Pioneering Three-Dimensional Cardiac Tissue Model
To validate the potential risk of a heart failure pandemic, the scientists at Riken employ cutting-edge technology to establish a three-dimensional human cardiac tissue model. This model is crafted using induced pluripotent stem cell-derived cardiac microtissues (CMTs), which faithfully mimic the structure and function of the human heart. These CMTs are then infected with SARS-CoV-2 to create a persistent infection model, allowing researchers to delve into the intricate details of the virus's impact on cardiac health.
 
Experimental Findings
The study's experimental findings shed light on the dynamics of persistent SARS-CoV-2 infection in cardiac tissues. Mild infections sustain viral presence without significant dysfunction for a month, indicating the potential for long-term, persistent infection. However, exposure to hypoxic conditions, simulating ischemic heart diseases, proves to be a game-changer. This scenario leads to cardiac dysfunction, intracellular SARS-CoV-2 reactivation in cardiomyocytes, and disrupted vascular network formation.
 
The Persistence of Viral Infection
Intriguingly, the study demonstrates the persistence of viral infection within cardiac tissues. Even individuals with seemingly mild SARS-CoV-2 infections, maintaining superficial cardiac function, may be at marginal risk of heart failure. The study reveals that hypoxic stress exacerbates this risk by disrupting vascular network formation, contributing to functional deterioration in infected cardiac tissues.
 
Hypoxic Stress and Cardiac Dysfunction
Under persistent SARS-CoV-2 infection, exposure to hypoxic stress exacerbates cardiac dysfunction. The study demonstrates that individuals with mild SARS-CoV-2 infections, seemingly maintaining superficial cardiac function, may be at marginal risk of heart failure. Hypoxic stress disrupts vascular network formation, contributing to functional deterioration in infected cardiac tissues.
 
Inflammatory Response and Cytokine Storms
Contrary to the widely observed cytokine storms in severe COVID-19 cases, the study reveals that hypoxic stress does not lead to the upregulation of inflammatory cytokines in the context of persistent infection. This intriguing finding suggests that the cardiac dysfunction observed in persistent infection is not solely dependent on the expression level of cytokines associated with inflammatory responses.
 
The Need for Comprehensive Understanding
While the study provides critical insights into the potential cardiac consequences of persistent SARS-CoV-2 infection, researchers acknowledge limitations. The absence of immune-related cells in the model highlights the need for further research to fully replicate the impact of cytokine storms and immune responses observed in vivo.
 
Future Perspectives: Multi-Organ Models and Therapeutic Approaches
To address the complex interaction between multiple organs, researchers propose the development of multi-organ models, such as the MultiCUBE platform, to unravel the route of SARS-CoV-2 infection to the heart. These advancements could significantly contribute to understanding interactions between different organs and aid in the development of therapeutic options.
 
Conclusion
As the world grapples with the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, the revelation of a potential heart failure pandemic adds a new layer of complexity to global healthcare challenges. The pioneering study from Riken serves as a stark warning, urging the establishment of testing systems, treatment methods, and a comprehensive understanding of the mechanisms underlying SARS-CoV-2 cardiomyopathy. It is a call to action for the global healthcare community to confront and mitigate the looming threat of a post-COVID-19 era heart failure pandemic. The urgency is clear, and the scientific community must unite to decipher the intricacies of SARS-CoV-2's impact on the heart and develop strategies to safeguard global cardiovascular health.
 
The study findings were published in the peer reviewed journal: iScience.
https://www.cell.com/iscience/fulltext/S2589-0042(23)02718-9
 
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