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Int J Cardiol Heart Vasc


BACKGROUND: Focused transthoracic echocardiography (fTTE) has emerged as a critical diagnostic tool during the COVID-19 pandemic, allowing for efficient cardiac imaging while minimizing staff exposure. The utility of fTTE in predicting clinical outcomes in COVID-19 remains under investigation.

METHODS: We conducted a retrospective study of 2,266 hospitalized patients at Rush University Medical Center with COVID-19 infection between March and November 2020 who received a fTTE. fTTE data were analyzed for association with primary adverse outcomes (60-day mortality) and with secondary adverse outcomes (need for renal replacement therapy, need for invasive ventilation, shock, and venous thromboembolism).

RESULTS: Of the 427 hospitalized patients who had a fTTE performed (mean 62 years, 43% female), 109 (26%) had died by 60 days. Among patients with an available fTTE measurement, right ventricular (RV) dilation was noted in 34% (106/309), 43% (166/386) had RV dysfunction, and 17% (72/421) had left ventricular (LV) dysfunction. In multivariable models accounting for fTTE data, RV dilation was significantly associated with 60-day mortality (OR 1.93 [CI 1.13-3.3], p = 0.016). LV dysfunction was not significantly associated with 60-day mortality (OR 0.95 [CI: 0.51-1.78], p = 0.87).

CONCLUSIONS: Abnormalities in RV echocardiographic parameters are adverse prognosticators in COVID-19 disease. Patients with RV dilation experienced double the risk for 60-day mortality due to COVID-19. To our knowledge, this is the largest study to date that highlights the adverse prognostic implications of RV dilation as determined through fTTE in hospitalized COVID-19 patients.

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