Can heart enlargement predict coronavirus deaths?
By Ralph Flores // Jul 06, 2020

The disease caused by the Wuhan coronavirus (COVD-19) isn't just a respiratory disease. It also affects other parts of the body and, in some cases, even the heart. Looking at how the virus affects certain parts of the heart can help doctors gauge the severity of COVID-19, says a new study.


Researchers from the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York reported that in-hospital patients who develop a heart condition known as right ventricular (RV) dilation are more likely to die from COVID-19.

RV dilation happens when the right side of the heart enlarges and becomes unable to function efficiently. An earlier report by John Madias, a cardiology professor at Mount Sinai, revealed that the condition is often neglected when it shows on electrocardiogram (ECG) results. This is because doctors often focus on the left side of the heart when assessing heart failure.

Enlarged ventricles can predict mortality

The researchers looked at the health records of 110 COVID-19 patients treated at Mount Sinai Morningside from March 26 to April 22. They found that 31 percent of the patients had RV dilation, based on ECG findings. Of those patients, 41 percent died, while only 11 percent of those without RV dilation met the same fate.

In their preliminary report, which was published online in JACC: Cardiovascular Imaging, the team also noted that none of the patients with RV dilation had “significant differences in the prevalence of major comorbidities,” which include diabetes, hypertension and coronary artery disease.

“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,” explained lead author Dr. Edgar Argulian, who is also a cardiology professor at Mount Sinai.

The team used bedside ECG machines for all patients in the study. The resulting images were then interpreted by echocardiography attendings. At the time of the study, the average age of the participants was 66 years, with women comprising 36 percent of the cohort. In addition, around 30 percent of the patients were intubated and mechanically ventilated.

The team also looked at the CT angiograms results of those with RV dilation and found that five had signs of pulmonary embolism, or a blood clot lodged in an artery in the lung. This meant that the dilation was likely caused by multiple factors, including damage due to viral infection.

This finding is similar to what doctors at the Centre Hospitalier Universitaire de Besancon in France have reported previously. In their paper, which was published in Radiology, the French doctors detected acute pulmonary embolism in over 20 percent of their sampled patients.

“Our results suggest that patients with severe clinical features of COVID-19 may have associated acute pulmonary embolus [blockage],” the researchers concluded.

Coronavirus affects the heart, regardless of health

People with chronic illnesses, chief of which is cardiovascular disease, are considered at-risk populations for COVID-19. In fact, around 10 percent of patients with coronavirus also have heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes. In comparison, patients with preexisting lung disease, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) or asthma, account for only 6 percent of severe COVID-19 cases. (Related: High blood pressure and diabetes could be raising your coronavirus risk.)

But it's not just people with heart disease who can suffer from complications from COVID-19. Doctors have reported cases of heart failure in COVID-19 patients without preexisting conditions. has more on the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Sources include:

Take Action:
Support NewsTarget by linking to this article from your website.
Permalink to this article:
Embed article link:
Reprinting this article:
Non-commercial use is permitted with credit to (including a clickable link).
Please contact us for more information.
Free Email Alerts
Get independent news alerts on natural cures, food lab tests, cannabis medicine, science, robotics, drones, privacy and more. © 2022 All Rights Reserved. All content posted on this site is commentary or opinion and is protected under Free Speech. is not responsible for content written by contributing authors. The information on this site is provided for educational and entertainment purposes only. It is not intended as a substitute for professional advice of any kind. assumes no responsibility for the use or misuse of this material. Your use of this website indicates your agreement to these terms and those published on this site. All trademarks, registered trademarks and servicemarks mentioned on this site are the property of their respective owners.

This site uses cookies
News Target uses cookies to improve your experience on our site. By using this site, you agree to our privacy policy.
Learn More
Get 100% real, uncensored news delivered straight to your inbox
You can unsubscribe at any time. Your email privacy is completely protected.