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Brief research report: Quantitative analysis of potential coronary microvascular disease in suspected long-COVID syndrome

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Item Type:Article
Title:Brief research report: Quantitative analysis of potential coronary microvascular disease in suspected long-COVID syndrome
Creators Name:Doeblin, P. and Steinbeis, F. and Scannell, C.M. and Goetze, C. and Al-Tabatabaee, S. and Erley, J. and Faragli, A. and Pröpper, F. and Witzenrath, M. and Zoller, T. and Stehning, C. and Gerhardt, H. and Sánchez-González, J. and Alskaf, E. and Kühne, T. and Pieske, B. and Tschöpe, C. and Chiribiri, A. and Kelle, S.
Abstract:BACKGROUND: Case series have reported persistent cardiopulmonary symptoms, often termed long-COVID or post-COVID syndrome, in more than half of patients recovering from Coronavirus Disease 19 (COVID-19). Recently, alterations in microvascular perfusion have been proposed as a possible pathomechanism in long-COVID syndrome. We examined whether microvascular perfusion, measured by quantitative stress perfusion cardiac magnetic resonance (CMR), is impaired in patients with persistent cardiac symptoms post-COVID-19. METHODS: Our population consisted of 33 patients post-COVID-19 examined in Berlin and London, 11 (33%) of which complained of persistent chest pain and 13 (39%) of dyspnea. The scan protocol included standard cardiac imaging and dual-sequence quantitative stress perfusion. Standard parameters were compared to 17 healthy controls from our institution. Quantitative perfusion was compared to published values of healthy controls. RESULTS: The stress myocardial blood flow (MBF) was significantly lower [31.8 ± 5.1 vs. 37.8 ± 6.0 (μl/g/beat), P < 0.001] and the T2 relaxation time was significantly higher (46.2 ± 3.6 vs. 42.7 ± 2.8 ms, P = 0.002) post-COVID-19 compared to healthy controls. Stress MBF and T1 and T2 relaxation times were not correlated to the COVID-19 severity (Spearman r = −0.302, −0.070, and −0.297, respectively) or the presence of symptoms. The stress MBF showed a U-shaped relation to time from PCR to CMR, no correlation to T1 relaxation time, and a negative correlation to T2 relaxation time (Pearson r = −0.446, P = 0.029). CONCLUSION: While we found a significantly reduced microvascular perfusion post-COVID-19 compared to healthy controls, this reduction was not related to symptoms or COVID-19 severity.
Keywords:CMR, COVID-19, Microvascular Disease, Quantitative Perfusion, Long COVID-19 Syndrome
Source:Frontiers in Cardiovascular Medicine
Publisher:Frontiers Media SA
Page Range:877416
Date:31 May 2022
Official Publication:https://doi.org/10.3389/fcvm.2022.877416
PubMed:View item in PubMed

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