Background: Persistent symptoms affect a subset of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) survivors. Some of these may be cardiovascular (CV)-related. Objective: To assess the burden of objective CV morbidity among, and to explore the short-term course experienced by, COVID-19 patients with post-infectious symptomatology suspected as CV. Methods: This was a single-center, retrospective analysis of consecutive adult patients with new-onset symptoms believed to be CV following recovery from COVID-19, who had been assessed at a dedicated ‘Cardio’-COVID clinic between June 2020 and June 2021. All participants were followed for 1 year for symptomatic course and the occurrence of new CV diagnoses and major adverse cardiovascular events (MACE). Results: A total of 96 patients (median age 54 (IQR, 44–64) years, 52 (54%) females) were included in the final analysis. Initial visits occurred within a median of 142 days after the diagnosis of acute COVID. Nearly all (99%) patients experienced a symptomatic acute illness, which was graded as severe in 26 (27%) cases according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) criteria. Long-COVID symptoms included mainly dyspnea and fatigue. While the initial work-up was mostly normal, 45% of the 11 cardiac magnetic resonance studies performed revealed pathologies. New CV diagnoses were made in nine (9%) patients and mainly included myocarditis that later resolved. An abnormal spirometry was the only variable associated with these. No MACE were recorded. Fifty-two (54%) participants felt that their symptoms improved. No association was found between CV morbidity and symptomatic course. Conclusions: In our experience, long-COVID symptoms of presumed CV origin signified actual CV disease in a minority of patients who, irrespective of the final diagnosis, faced a fair 1-year prognosis.
- cardiovascular complications
- long COVID