Transthoracic echocardiographic findings in patients admitted with SARS-CoV-2 infection
Introduction: Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2)-infected patients commonly have elevated troponin and D-dimer levels, but limited imaging exists to support most likely etiologies in efforts to avoid staff exposure. The purpose of this study was to report transthoracic echocardiographic (TTE) findings in SARS-CoV-2 patients with correlating troponin and D-dimer levels.
Methods: We identified 66 SARS-CoV-2 patients (mean age 60 ± 15.7 years) admitted within a large, eight-hospital healthcare system over a 6-week period with a TTE performed. TTE readers were blinded to laboratory data with intra-observer and inter-observer analysis assessed.
Results: Sixty-six of 1780 SARS-CoV-2 patients were included and represented a high-risk population as 38 (57.6%) were ICU-admitted, 47 (71.2%) had elevated D-dimer, 41 (62.1%) had elevated troponin, and 25 (37.9%) died. Right ventricular (RV) dilation was present in 49 (74.2%) patients. The incidence and average D-dimer elevation was similar between moderate/severe vs. mild/no RV dilation (69.6% vs 67.6%, P = 1.0; 3736 ± 2986 vs 4141 ± 3351 ng/mL, P = .679). Increased left ventricular (LV) wall thickness was present in 46 (69.7%) with similar incidence of elevated troponin and average troponin levels compared to normal wall thickness (66.7% vs 52.4%, P = .231; 0.88 ± 1.9 vs 1.36 ± 2.4 ng/mL, P = .772). LV dilation was rare (n = 6, 9.1%), as was newly reduced LV ejection fraction (n = 2, 3.0%).
Conclusion: TTE in SARS-CoV-2 patients is scarce, technically difficult, and reserved for high-risk patients. RV dilation is common in SARS-CoV-2 but does not correlate with elevated D-dimer levels. Increased LV wall thickness is common, while newly reduced LV ejection fraction is rare, and neither correlates with troponin levels.
Schott JP, Mertens AN, Bloomingdale R, O'Connell TF, Gallagher MJ, Dixon S, Abbas AE. Transthoracic echocardiographic findings in patients admitted with SARS-CoV-2 infection. Echocardiography. 2020 Oct;37(10):1551-1556. doi: 10.1111/echo.14835. Epub 2020 Sep 19. PMID: 32949015; PMCID: PMC7537524.