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Source: Heart-COVID-19  Jul 09, 2021  2 years, 9 months, 1 week, 1 day, 13 hours, 4 minutes ago

John Hopkins Proposes New Echocardiogram Diagnostics That Can identify COVID-19 Patients That Are At Risk Of Developing Atrial Fibrillation

John Hopkins Proposes New Echocardiogram Diagnostics That Can identify COVID-19 Patients That Are At Risk Of Developing Atrial Fibrillation
Source: Heart-COVID-19  Jul 09, 2021  2 years, 9 months, 1 week, 1 day, 13 hours, 4 minutes ago
Heart and COVID-19: Considering that a high percentage of COVID-19 patients including those that were deemed as having “recovered” are manifesting atrial fibrillation ie an irregular heartbeat that can increase a person's risk for heart failure and stroke, among other heart issues, researchers from Johns Hopkins Medicine have identified a type of echocardiogram which is a common test to evaluate whether a person's heart is pumping properly to predict which patients with COVID-19 are most at risk of developing atrial fibrillation.

Myocardial injury COVID-19 has been associated with adverse outcomes, however associations between myocardial injury and arrhythmias, such as atrial fibrillation/flutter (AF), in this population are not well established.
 
Recent advances in two dimensional echocardiography (2DE), including speckle-based strain, enable the quantification of left atrial (LA) strain, a measure of atrial deformation that has previously been shown to be predictive of AF and cardiovascular events in stable outpatients.
 
The study team aimed to compare echocardiographic measures of LA function between hospitalized COVID-19 patients and COVID-19-negative controls, to test the hypothesis that COVID-19 patients have reduced LA function as reflected by abnormal LA strain (LAS) and LA emptying fraction (LAEF).
 
The study team found that among COVID-19 patients, left atrial dysfunction and cardiac biomarker elevation are associated with incident atrial fibrillation.
 
The study findings were published in the peer reviewed Journal of the American Society of Echocardiography. https://www.onlinejase.com/article/S0894-7317(21)00497-1/pdf
 
The study findings also suggest that patients with COVID-19 who go on to develop atrial fibrillation more commonly have elevated levels of heart-related proteins called troponin and NT-proBNP in blood test samples.
 
Dr Allison Hays, M.D., medical director of echocardiography programs at The Johns Hopkins Hospital and senior author of the published paper told Thailand Medical News, “If further studies confirm the findings, this could lead to new therapies to prevent strokes and heart attacks in certain COVID-19 patients who are at the highest risk."
 
To date the COVID-19 pandemic has affected more than 186 million people around the world and killed more than 4.02 million individuals.
 
Previous studies of complications and long-term effects of SARS-CoV-2 infection have found that patients who are hospitalized with COVID-19 have more than double the rate of arrhythmias, including atrial fibrillation and atrial flutter, a similar rapid rhythm that can lead to heart failure and stroke.
 
However exactly how the virus causes these heart complications, and who is most at risk of developing atrial fibrillation because of COVID-19, has been poorly understood.
 
For the research, Dr Hays and her colleagues compared 80 patients with COVID-19 with 34 patients who did not have COVID-19 who were also treated at Th e Johns Hopkins Hospital in the intensive or intermediate care units for respiratory issues.
 
None of the patients had a history of heart arrhythmia.
 
During the study carried out between March and June 2020, the researchers analyzed echocardiograms of hospitalized patients, applying a special kind of analysis called speckle-tr