The heart of pediatric patients with covid-19: New insights from a systematic echocardiographic study in a tertiary hospital in Brazil

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Abstract

Background: COVID-19 pandemic represents a huge burden to the health system in the world. Although pediatric COVID-19 patients have been relatively spared compared with adults, recent reports showed an increasing number of critically ill patients with multisystemic inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-c), with marked cardiovascular impairment. Nevertheless, little is known about the relationship between cardiac abnormalities and inflammatory and coagulation biomarkers. Objectives: To investigate echocardiographic abnormalities in pediatric patients with COVID-19 admitted to tertiary hospital. Methods: This was a retrospective longitudinal study, based on the review of medical records and echocardiograms of patients (0-19 years) admitted to a tertiary hospital between March 30 and June 30, 2020. For statistical analysis, the significance level was set at 5% (p < 0.05). Results: Forty-eight patients were enrolled, 73% with preexisting diseases, 20 (41.7%) with MIS-c. Median age was 7.5 (0-18.6) years; 27 (56.2%) were male. Median duration of hospitalization was 15.4 (2-92) days and seven (14.6%) patients died. A total of 70 echocardiograms were performed; 66.7% patients were scanned only once and 33.3% multiple times. Twenty-three (48%) patients showed echocardiographic abnormalities: eight (16.6%) left ventricle (LV) systolic dysfunction, six (12.5%) right ventricle (RV) systolic dysfunction and 12 (25%) coronary dilatation (Z-score>+2.5). Echocardiographic abnormalities were significantly associated with MIS-c, admission to the pediatric intensive care unit, multiple organ dysfunction, ventilatory/vasoactive support, and death (p<0.05). Significantly higher d-dimer (ng/mL) levels were detected in patients with LV dysfunction [16733(4157-115668) vs. 2406.5(190-95040)], RV dysfunction [25769(3422-115668) vs. 2803.5(190-95040)] and coronary artery dilation [9652.5(921-115668) vs. 2724(190-95040)] (p<0.05). Conclusion: Echocardiographic abnormalities in COVID-19 pediatric patients were frequent and associated with worse clinical outcomes. Exacerbation of the inflammation and coagulation pathways may play an important role in cardiovascular injury in those patients.

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Diniz, M. de F. R., Cardoso, M. F., Sawamura, K. S. S., Menezes, C. R. B., Lianza, A. C., Pereira, M. F. B., … Leal, G. N. (2021). The heart of pediatric patients with covid-19: New insights from a systematic echocardiographic study in a tertiary hospital in Brazil. Arquivos Brasileiros de Cardiologia, 117(5), 954–964. https://doi.org/10.36660/abc.20200920

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