Objectives:In coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), cardiovascular risk factors and myocardial injury relate to increased mortality. We evaluated the extent of cardiac sequelae 6 months after hospital discharge in patients surviving ICU hospitalization for COVID-19.Methods:All survivors of Maastricht-ICU were invited for comprehensive cardiovascular evaluation 6 months after discharge from ICU. Cardiac screening included an electrocardiogram, cardiac biomarkers, echocardiography, cardiac magnetic resonance (CMR) and, wherever indicated, cardiac computed tomography or coronary angiogram.Results:Out of 52 survivors, 81% (n = 42) participated to the cardiovascular follow-up [median follow-up of 6 months, interquartile range (IQR) 6.1-6.7]. Eight patients (19%) had newly diagnosed coronary artery disease (CAD), of which two required a percutaneous intervention. Echocardiographic global longitudinal strain (GLS) was abnormal in 24% and CMR-derived GLS was abnormal in 12%, despite normal left ventricular ejection fraction in all. None of the patients showed elevated T1 relaxation times and five patients (14%) had an elevated T2 relaxation time. Late gadolinium enhancement (LGE) reflecting regional myocardial fibrosis was increased in eight patients (21%), of which three had myocarditis and three had pericarditis.Conclusion:Cardiovascular follow-up at 6 months after ICU-admission for severe COVID-19 revealed that one out of five invasively mechanically ventilated survivors had CAD, a quarter had subclinical left ventricular dysfunction defined as reduced echocardiographic GLS, and 42% of the patients had CMR abnormalities (reduced LVEF, reduced GLS, LGE presence, and elevated T2). On the basis of these findings, long-term cardiovascular follow-up is strongly recommended in all post-IC COVID-19.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1278-1287
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Hypertension
Issue number7
Early online date25 Feb 2022
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2022


  • COVID-19
  • cardiac MRI
  • cardiac injury
  • coronavirus disease 2019
  • echocardiography
  • electrocardiography
  • Echocardiography
  • Cardiac injury
  • Coronavirus disease 2019
  • Electrocardiography

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