Cardiac Echocardiography in COVID-19 Infection
The novel COVID-19 disease mainly affects respiratory organs; however, involvement of cardiovascular system is also not uncommon. Cardiac involvement can manifest as myocarditis, heart failure, myocardial infarction, pulmonary embolism, or arrhythmias in COVID-19 patients. This novel Coronavirus enters into the cells of the human body by binding to ACE-2 receptors which are predominantly present on pneumocytes and cardiomyocytes. The damage to myocardium is manifested by the increase in cardiac enzymes such as troponin-I, CK-MB, and NT pro-BNP. Although echocardiogram is an important tool in the cardiac evaluation of COVID-19 patients, its indiscriminate use is discouraged, owing to the risk of transmission to echocardiography service providers, as well as possible risk of contaminating echocardiography equipment. In this article, we discuss the different mechanisms and cardiac manifestations of COVID-19. We also review the current guidelines for echocardiography evaluation of COVID-19 patients as well as current recommendations on safety of echocardiography personnel and equipment against contamination. We also include our experience of two cases in which COVID-19 affliction of heart was strongly suspected, and echocardiography clinched the diagnosis.
24 July 2020 (online)
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