Dysautonomia, but Not Cardiac Dysfunction, Is Common in a Cohort of Individuals with Long COVID

Laura Tabacof, Jamie Wood, Erica Breyman, Jenna Tosto-Mancuso, Amanda Kelly, Kaitlyn Wilkey, Chi Zhang, David Putrino, Amy Kontorovich

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Despite the prevalence of dysautonomia in people with Long COVID, it is currently unknown whether Long COVID dysautonomia is routinely accompanied by structural or functional cardiac alterations. In this retrospective observational study, the presence of echocardiographic abnormalities was assessed. Left ventricular (LV) chamber sizes were correlated to diagnostic categories and symptoms via standardized patient-reported outcome (PRO) questionnaires. A total of 203 individuals with Long COVID without pre-existing cardiac disease and with available echocardiograms were included (mean age, 45 years; 67% female). Overall, symptoms and PRO scores for fatigue, breathlessness, quality of life, disability, anxiety and depression were not different between those classified with post-COVID dysautonomia (PCD, 22%) and those unclassified (78%). An LV internal diameter at an end-diastole z score < −2 was observed in 33 (16.5%) individuals, and stroke volume (SV) was lower in the PCD vs. unclassified subgroup (51.6 vs. 59.2 mL, 95% C.I. 47.1–56.1 vs. 56.2–62.3). LV end-diastolic volume (mean diff. (95% CI) −13 [−1–−26] mL, p = 0.04) and SV (−10 [−1–−20] mL, p = 0.03) were smaller in those individuals reporting a reduction in physical activity post-COVID-19 infection, and smaller LVMI was weakly correlated with worse fatigue (r = 0.23, p = 0.02). The majority of individuals with Long COVID report shared symptoms and did not demonstrate cardiac dysfunction on echocardiography.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1606
JournalJournal of Personalized Medicine
Volume13
Issue number11
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2023

Keywords

  • PASC
  • dysautonomia
  • echocardiogram
  • long COVID
  • post-acute sequelae of COVID
  • postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS)

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