COVID-19 pandemic and cardiovascular disease: where do we stand?

Dimitrios G. Chatzis, Kalliopi T. Magounaki, Ioannis N. Pantazopoulos, Elizabeth O. Johnson, Konstantinos P. Tsioufis


Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is the cause of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) which recently has been characterized as a pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO) having killed almost 250,000 people worldwide as of May 4th, 2020. Despite the fact that SARS-CoV-2 seems to predominantly affect the respiratory system leading to pneumonia and acute respiratory distress syndrome, it is now evident that it may also affect the cardiovascular system in multiple ways. The current paper is a review of the most recent literature regarding SARS-CoV-2 infection and its associated main cardiovascular clinical manifestations. Cardiovascular disease represents a prevalent underlying comorbidity associated with increased mortality rates among COVID-19 affected individuals. In addition, various cardiovascular manifestations have been linked to the viral insult, including among others acute coronary syndromes, myocarditis, acute heart failure, cardiac injury, arrhythmias and acute pulmonary embolism. Further studies are required in order to establish the complicated association between SARS-CoV-2 infection and its effects on the cardiovascular system. Our knowledge regarding diagnostic approaches, therapeutic management and preventive measures is constantly enriched throughout an abundance of ongoing research in the respective fields.

Keywords: Coronavirus; COVID-19; Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2; Complications; Cardiovascular diseases

Minerva Cardioangiologica 2020 August;68(4):347-58
DOI: 10.23736/S0026-4725.20.05298-6