Reduced cardiac function in a minority of COVID-19 patients

Cardiac abnormalities as a consequence of COVID-19 infection have been shown in several studies. However, are these abnormalities the result of underlying conditions worsened by the infection or an independendt factor remains unclear. Further studies are needed to assess the long-term consequences after COVID-19 infection.

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​In summary, our prospective study showed normal LV function by LVEF in all patients 3 months after hospitalization for COVID-19. However, LV GLS, was reduced in 15% of the patients. Furthermore, we could not find any relationships between reduced GLS and disease severity (treatment at intensive care unit) or elevated high-sensitivity cardiac troponin after 3 months. The majority of the patients with reduced GLS had arterial hypertension prior to COVID-19 infection; this might explain the impaired LV function, but we cannot exclude that this was caused by COVID-19. Cardiac function might potentially be influenced by the antiviral medications, but we could not find such effect. Our study was, however, not originally designed for this purpose.

The number of patients is small and increases the risk of both type I and type II statistical errors. Another limitation is lack of comparison with echocardiographic examination during hospitalization. Our study underscores the need for more studies on long-term cardiovascular consequences after COVID-19.


Reprinted from

Reduced Cardiac Function by Echocardiography in a Minority of COVID-19 Patients 3 Months after Hospitalization - ScienceDirect  
J Am Soc Echocardiogr. 2022 Feb;35(2):243-244. 
Jorun Tangen, Pål Aukrust, Andreas Barratt-Due, Helge Skulstad, Thor Edvardsen 
PMID: 34758386 
PMCID: PMC8572552 
DOI: 10.1016/j.echo.2021.10.014

With permission from Elsevier. ​License number 5457571067519.

Last updated 7/8/2024