Myocardial injury in COVID-19 is associated with in-hospital mortality. However, the development of myocardial injury over time and whether myocardial injury in patients with COVID-19 at the intensive care unit is associated with outcome is unclear. This study prospectively investigates myocardial injury with serial measurements over the full course of intensive care unit admission in mechanically ventilated patients with COVID-19. As part of the prospective Maastricht Intensive Care COVID cohort, predefined myocardial injury markers, including high-sensitivity cardiac troponin T (hs-cTnT), N-terminal pro-B-type natriuretic peptide (NT-proBNP), and electrocardiographic characteristics were serially collected in mechanically ventilated patients with COVID-19. Linear mixed-effects regression was used to compare survivors with nonsurvivors, adjusting for gender, age, APACHE-II score, daily creatinine concentration, hypertension, diabetes mellitus, and obesity. In 90 patients, 57 (63%) were survivors and 33 (37%) nonsurvivors, and a total of 628 serial electrocardiograms, 1,565 hs-cTnT, and 1,559 NT-proBNP concentrations were assessed. Log-hs-cTnT was lower in survivors compared with nonsurvivors at day 1 (β -0.93 [-1.37; -0.49], p <0.001) and did not change over time. Log-NT-proBNP did not differ at day 1 between both groups but decreased over time in the survivor group (β -0.08 [-0.11; -0.04] p <0.001) compared with nonsurvivors. Many electrocardiographic abnormalities were present in the whole population, without significant differences between both groups. In conclusion, baseline hs-cTnT and change in NT-proBNP were strongly associated with mortality. Two-thirds of patients with COVID-19 showed electrocardiographic abnormalities. Our serial assessment suggests that myocardial injury is common in mechanically ventilated patients with COVID-19 and is associated with outcome.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)118-127
Number of pages10
JournalAmerican Journal of Cardiology
Early online date24 Feb 2022
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2022


  • COVID-19


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