Although people with a more severe form of covid-19 are primarily affected by the lungs, the heart can also suffer. Doctors drew attention to this during Tuesday’s conference of the Czech Society of Cardiology. According to the vice-president of the company and the doctor of the Olomouc University Hospital Miloš Táborský, experts are now encountering new specific types of so-called cardioembolizing myocardial infarctions.
“Across the spectrum of the Czech Republic, we see many more cases of patients, young, slender, athletic non-smokers, who come shortly after covide with acute myocardial infarction, which is not the result of classic thrombotic occlusion but massive embolization into the coronary artery,” the doctor described.
Embolism and inflammation
But it’s not just these problems. Heart disease can occur in covid-19 in several ways. The first is related to the lung damage itself.
“The moment the patient has severe lung damage and lack of oxygen, the heart muscle suffers and can be damaged. The second mechanism is direct inflammatory damage to the heart muscle. The third is inflammation of the lining of the blood vessels, or endothelium, which then causes further complications. Most are due to blood clotting in inadequate places. Pulmonary embolism is a fairly common complication, and we encounter it repeatedly, “described physician Aleš Linhart, chairman of the Czech Society of Cardiology.
According to him, long-term complications after covid-19 may be related to the involvement of small blood vessels. However, a number of studies are now dealing with this matter, which do not yet have a clear conclusion.
“Some patients see that they have actually developed inflammation of the heart muscle. It seems that most of them are not serious yet and do not lead to severe damage. We have always seen severe disabilities in connection with lung damage. We also observe pulmonary embolizations, heart rhythm disorders, atrial fibrillation are also evident, and some patients may also have effusions in the pericardium. It is also one of the complications that are seen and that probably have an inflammatory cause, “added Professor Linhart about the effects of covid-19 on the cardiovascular system.
The occurrence of blood clots in covid-19 List of Reports have previously been pointed out. Exact data from the Czech Republic are not yet available. For example, studies by Dutch and French researchers confirm that blood clots form in 20 to 30 percent of critically ill patients with covid-19. But it doesn’t have to be just about serious cases.
“The blood clotting systems that are responsible for the formation of clots are among the body’s reactive systems and reflect infections and inflammation. These can upset the blood clotting balance and lead to its excessive activity, which results in the formation of clots in the blood vessels. Both larger and smaller vessels can be affected. It can be embolization into the lungs, for example, only after the failure of some organs, “said Miroslav Penka, Vice-Chairman of the Czech Society for Thrombosis and Hemostasis of the Czech Medical Association JEP.
“Covid-19 is a serious infection, so it is not surprising that these complications occur, especially in the more severe forms of the disease, but not only in them,” he added.
Blood clots can cause pulmonary embolism. It is a life-threatening disease in which there is a sudden obstruction of the lung – the main artery that supplies blood to the lungs, or some of its branches. If symptoms occur, seek medical attention quickly.
Symptoms of pulmonary embolism
– sudden shortness of breath (with fast breathing rate),
– chest pain (especially when breathing deeply),
– cough (sometimes with coughing up blood),
– bluish discoloration of the lips and fingers (so-called cyanosis),
– collapse or short-term loss of consciousness,
– circulatory instability (low blood pressure, fast heart rate),
– sudden death.