COVID-19 infection can affect the cardiovascular system. We sought to determine if left ventricular global longitudinal strain (LVGLS) is affected by COVID-19 and if this has prognostic implications. Materials & methods: Retrospective study, with LVGLS was measured in 58 COVID-19 patients. Patients discharged were compared with those who died. Results: The mean LV ejection fraction (LVEF) and LVGLS for the cohort was 52.1 and -12.9 ± 4.0%, respectively. Among 30 patients with preserved LVEF (>50%), LVGLS was -15.7 ± 2.8%, which is lower than the reference mean LVGLS for a normal, healthy population. There was no significant difference in LVGLS or LVEF when comparing patients who survived to discharge or died. Conclusion: LVGLS was reduced in COVID-19 patients, although not significantly lower in those who died compared with survivors. COVID-19 infection can affect the cardiovascular system including the heart muscle. Myocardial strain measures the function of the heart muscle at cell level and can pick up unusual heart function before routine measurements. Ejection fraction (how hard the heart muscle is squeezing) can be seen with our own eyes, but strain cannot and needs special techniques to see it. In this study we wanted to find out what was the strain on COVID-19 patients and if there was a relationship between strain and the outcome of the patients (if they were able to recover from COVID-19). The important finding of our study is that strain was low in all patients with COVID-19 infection regardless of routine measurements when compared with patients without the infection. However, in this study we found no correlation between the low strain and the result of the infection for the COVID-19 patients.
- COVID-19 infection
- myocardial strain imaging
- speckle tracking echocardiography
- transthoracic echocardiography