Coronary microvascular dysfunction is common in patients hospitalized with COVID-19 infection.

Çalışkan M. , Baycan Ö. F. , Çelik F. B. , Güvenç T. S. , Atıcı A., Çağ Y. , ...More

Microcirculation (New York, N.Y. : 1994), 2022 (Journal Indexed in SCI) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume:
  • Publication Date: 2022
  • Doi Number: 10.1111/micc.12757
  • Title of Journal : Microcirculation (New York, N.Y. : 1994)
  • Keywords: coronary microvascular dysfunction, COVID-19, echocardiography, myocardial injury, SARS-COV-2, FLOW RESERVE, ACE2


Background and Aims Microvascular disease is considered as one of the main drivers of morbidity and mortality in severe COVID-19, and microvascular dysfunction has been demonstrated in the subcutaneous and sublingual tissues in COVID-19 patients. The presence of coronary microvascular dysfunction (CMD) has also been hypothesized, but direct evidence demonstrating CMD in COVID-19 patients is missing. In the present study, we aimed to investigate CMD in patients hospitalized with COVID-19, and to understand whether there is a relationship between biomarkers of myocardial injury, myocardial strain and inflammation and CMD. Methods 39 patients that were hospitalized with COVID-19 and 40 control subjects were included to the present study. Biomarkers for myocardial injury, myocardial strain, inflammation, and fibrin turnover were obtained at admission. A comprehensive echocardiographic examination, including measurement of coronary flow velocity reserve (CFVR), was done after the patient was stabilized. Results Patients with COVID-19 infection had a significantly lower hyperemic coronary flow velocity, resulting in a significantly lower CFVR (2.0 +/- 0.3 vs. 2.4 +/- 0.5, p < .001). Patients with severe COVID-19 had a lower CFVR compared to those with moderate COVID-19 (1.8 +/- 0.2 vs. 2.2 +/- 0.2, p < .001) driven by a trend toward higher basal flow velocity. CFVR correlated with troponin (p = .003, r: -.470), B-type natriuretic peptide (p < .001, r: -.580), C-reactive protein (p < .001, r: -.369), interleukin-6 (p < .001, r: -.597), and d-dimer (p < .001, r: -.561), with the three latter biomarkers having the highest areas-under-curve for predicting CMD. Conclusions Coronary microvascular dysfunction is common in patients with COVID-19 and is related to the severity of the infection. CMD may also explain the "cryptic" myocardial injury seen in patients with severe COVID-19 infection.