Transthoracic Echocardiography May Identify Higher-Risk COVID-19 Patients

COVID19
Covid-19 coronavirus particles, illustration. The SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus was first identified in Wuhan, China, in December 2019. It is an enveloped RNA (ribonucleic acid) virus. Within the membrane are spike proteins (large protrusions) as well as membrane proteins and envelope proteins. SARS-CoV-2 causes the respiratory infection Covid-19, which can lead to fatal pneumonia. As of March 2020, the virus has spread to many countries worldwide and has been declared a pandemic. Hundreds of thousands have been infected with tens of thousands of deaths.
Transthoracic echocardiography may identify hospitalized COVID-19 patients at higher risk for in-hospital death.

HealthDay News — Transthoracic echocardiography (TTE) may identify hospitalized COVID-19 patients at higher risk for in-hospital death, according to a study published online July 20 in the European Journal of Clinical Investigation.

Angelo Silverio, M.D., from the University of Salerno in Italy, and colleagues used data from 1,401 patients hospitalized with COVID-19 from March 1 to April 22, 2020, in one of seven Italian centers to identify clinical conditions and echocardiographic parameters associated with in-hospital mortality.

The researchers found that 16.1 percent of patients underwent TTE, and of these patients, 30.1 percent died (68 of 226). There were independent associations for left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF), tricuspid annular plane systolic excursion (TAPSE), and acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) with in-hospital mortality. There was a significantly higher risk for mortality in patients with ARDS versus those without (hazard ratio, 7.66), in patients with TAPSE ≤17 mm versus those with TAPSE >17 mm (hazard ratio, 5.08), and in patients with LVEF ≤50 percent versus those with LVEF >50 percent (hazard ratio, 4.06).

“TTE might be a useful tool in risk stratification of patients with COVID-19,” the authors write.

Abstract/Full Text