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The first sign of heart damage was in their blood. In early case reports from Wuhan, China, where the novel coronavirus emerged, an unexpected number of patients hospitalized with the respiratory infection had elevated levels of cardiac troponin, a marker of myocardial—heart muscle—injury. Next came the echocardiograms suggesting functional abnormalities in many patients’ hearts. Soon it was obvious that myocardial injury heralded poor prognosis for patients hospitalized with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
“It was quite clear that people that came into the hospital sick that had heart injury were the ones that were at greatest risk of requiring mechanical ventilation and, ultimately, at the greatest risk of dying,” said Aaron Baggish, MD, director of the cardiovascular performance program at Massachusetts General Hospital.
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Abbasi J. Researchers Investigate What COVID-19 Does to the Heart. JAMA. 2021;325(9):808–811. doi:10.1001/jama.2021.0107
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