NORTH TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM) — Two studies, recently published in JAMA Cardiology, are giving new insight into the effects of COVID-19 on the human heart.
One study identified coronavirus in the heart tissue of COVID patients who died — the other found that among 100 adults who recently recovered from the virus, 78-percent showed some kind of cardiac involvement on MRI scans and 60-percent had ongoing inflammation.
“COVID affects all organs,” said Dr. Tu Le, a cardiologist with Texas Health Hurst-Euless-Bedford and Texas Health Physicians Group. “So the heart is no different than the kidneys that we see involvement, lungs, liver all of the organs, and that’s the really unfortunate thing.”
Dr. Le said since the pandemic began, he’s seen an increasing number of patients suffering from heart failure. “Anecdotally, about 90-percent of those patients in the ICU end up with some degree of heart involvement.”
According to Dr. Le, doctors are seeing healthy, young patients develop COVID-related cardiomyopathies and heart failure.
“We’re seeing the younger population develop heart attacks from COVID regardless of whether they have pre-existing conditions or not,” he said. But Dr. Le also noted that just as not everyone who has COVID is symptomatic, not everyone with the virus will develop these sorts of complications. He said to fully understand why, more research needs to be done.
“The good news is that a lot of these viral cardiomyopathies recover, so they get better,” he said.