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May 19, 2020 - Enlargement of the right ventricle is a good predictor of which patients with severe COVID-19 are likely to die, doctors from the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai reported Monday.

The doctors examined health records of 105 coronavirus patients treated at Mount Sinai Morningside in New York City between March 26 and April 22, according to the

The Journal of Invasive Cardiology. The average age of the patients was 66, with 38 of the patients being female.

The doctors found that 32 of those patients had enlarged right ventricles, based on an echocardiogram, The Journal of Invasive Cardiology said. Thirteen of the patients (41%) with right ventricle enlargement died. Only eight patients (11%) without right ventricle dilation died.

None of the patients with right ventricle enlargement had “significant differences in the prevalence of major comorbidities” such as hypertension, diabetes or known heart disease, the journal said.

"This study provides important evidence associating right heart strain with adverse outcomes in hospitalized patients with COVID-19 infection," said Edgar Argulian, MD, an assistant professor of medicine and a lead author on the study. "Clinicians can use bedside echocardiography as a readily available tool to identify patients with COVID-19 infection at the highest risk of adverse hospital outcomes.”

The journal says the researchers don’t know why the deaths and COVID-19 were connected. Possible causes could be clots, lung damage, low blood oxygen level or heart damage.

The study has been accepted for publication in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

WebMD Health News Brief Medically Reviewed by Brunilda Nazario, MD on May 20, 2020

Sources

Journal of Invasive Cardiology. “Right Ventricular Dilation in Hospitalized COVID-19 Patients Can Be Indicator of High-Risk Cases”

 The Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

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