Why Heart?


Anchor lead: Observations that the heart may be damaged by COVID-19 infection have important clinical implications, Elizabeth Tracey reports

 Twenty percent of patients with COVID-19 infection in Wuhan had evidence of acute heart damage, a study in JAMA Cardiology shows. Erin Michos, a cardiologist at Johns Hopkins, says what is not known is why, and that’s a question that needs to be answered.

Michos: The mechanism of why is there heart damage is important because this may guide strategies of how we treat these patients. If they have underlying heart disease we would focus treatments on their underlying heart disease and improving oxygenation, if the cardiac troponin elevation was due to direct injury of the heart from the virus then treatments that are antiviral may be beneficial, or if this was due to the immune response then there are therapies that are directed at the immune system.  :32

Michos says that studies are underway to understand COVID-19 heart damage, and for now, she’s telling all of her patients to strictly observe public health recommendations. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.