A study by the University of Frankfurt suggests that the pericardium or heart muscle could be affected in the long term after Covid 19 disease. The observations are now to be continued.

Do Covid-19 patients face cardiac problems after surviving illness? According to a study in the journal “JAMA Cardiology”, scientists at the University of Frankfurt state this.

The team had evaluated magnetic resonance images of the hearts of a total of 100 patients who were recovering from Covid 19 disease – a good two thirds of them at home, the rest in the hospital.

Inflammatory changes in the heart muscle or pericardium were evident in 78 patients – often despite a very mild course of the original infection and in otherwise healthy and often athletic patients. What these changes mean in the long term is still unclear. To this end, the researchers are planning to track patients, says co-author Eike Nagel. The researchers anticipate that at least some patients will experience minor heart damage. This is suggested by the increase in the substance troponin – a marker for heart muscle damage – in 71 percent of the 100 patients.

The examinations were carried out about two months after an acute corona infection. The researchers were thus able to show that it is not a direct damage caused by the virus, but rather an immune response triggered by the virus.

However, the authors emphasize that no conclusions can be drawn from the study for patients under the age of 18. So far, no recommendations for treatment or patient behavior could be given. In general, however, people who have had a corona infection should consider their possibly lower performance when exercising.

© dpa-infocom, dpa: 200727-99-937433 / 3