78% of corona patients show signs of heart damage after recovery: Study

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New Delhi (NVI): Around 78 percent of patients diagnosed with COVID-19 showed evidence of heart damage weeks after they recovered while in 60 per cent of patients, there were signs of myocardial inflammation, according to a new study.

The study was conducted by the University Hospital Frankfurt, published in journal JAMA Cardiology, found that the disease inflicted damage on the organ long after the patient had recovered and in cases where the infection was not even severe to begin with.

According to the study, the MRIs of the 100 German infected patients were compared with those who did not carry the infection, two months after the first group recovered from the disease.

“80 of the 100 patients whose cardiovascular MRIs were examined after they recovered from COVID-19 had some structural changes to their heart,” the research reported.

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

At least 78 patients had visual signs that the virus had an impact on the heart irrespective of preexisting conditions while sixty of those patients had signs of ongoing inflammation of the heart muscle.

Of the total 100 patients, 67 recovered at home, while 33 required hospitalisation. At least 53 patients were male and the median age was 49.

The researchers don’t know is how long this heart damage sticks around, no pre-existing conditions would have explained the damage, only a third had been hospitalized with COVID-19. The rest were able to remain at home throughout the course of their illness, the study said.

In another study, published the same day, analysed autopsy results from 39 people who died of COVID-19 and whose average age was 80. It found high levels of the virus in the hearts of 24 patients.

According to the study, “Cardiac infection with SARS-CoV-2 was found to be frequent among these patients, but it was not associated with myocarditis-like influx of inflammatory cells into the myocardium (cardiac muscle tissue)”. SARS-CoV-2 is the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19.

The study added that among individuals with cardiac infection, inflammation of the heart muscle was not observed in the acute phase, but the long-term consequences of this cardiac infection needed to be studied.

Apart from this, the Ministry of Health in India is also in the process of formulating guidelines for COVID-19 recovered patients, officer on Special Duty Rajesh Bhushan said last week.

-RJV