Patients enrolled in the WASE-COVID study with acute COVID-19 infection were asked to return for a follow-up transthoracic echocardiogram (TTE). Overall, 198 returned at a mean of 129 days of follow-up, of which 153 had paired baseline and follow-up images that were analyzable, including left ventricular (LV) volumes, ejection fraction (EF), and longitudinal strain (LVLS).
Right-sided echocardiographic parameters included right ventricular (RV) global longitudinal strain (RVGLS), RV free wall strain (RVFWS), and RV basal diameter (RVBD). Paired echocardiographic parameters at baseline and follow-up were compared for the entire cohort and for subgroups based on the baseline LV and RV function.
For the entire cohort, echocardiographic markers of LV and RV function at follow-up were not significantly different from baseline (all p>0.5). Patients with hyperdynamic LVEF at baseline (>70%), had a significant reduction of LVEF at follow-up (74.3±3.1% vs. 64.4±8.1 %, p<0.001), while patients with reduced LVEF at baseline (<50%) had a significant increase (42.5±5.9% vs 49.3±13.4% , p=0.02), and those with normal LVEF had no change.
Patients with normal LVLS (<-18%) at baseline, had a significant reduction of LVLS at follow-up (-21.6±2.6 % vs. -20.3±4.0% , p=0.006), while patients with impaired LVLS at baseline, had a significant improvement at follow-up (-14.5±2.9 % vs. -16.7±5.2%, p<0.001).
Patients with abnormal RVGLS (>-20%) at baseline, had significant improvement at follow-up (15.2±3.4 % vs. -17.4±4.9 %, p=0.004). Patients with abnormal RVBD (>4.5 cm) at baseline, had significant improvement at follow-up (4.9±0.7 cm vs 4.6±0.6 cm, p=0.019).
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