The cardiovascular system is frequently affected by coronavirus disease-19 (COVID-19), particularly in hospitalized cases, and these manifestations are associated with a worse prognosis. Most commonly, heart involvement is represented by myocarditis, myocardial infarction, and pulmonary embolism, while arrhythmias, heart valve damage, and pericarditis are less frequent. While the clinical suspicion is necessary for a prompt disease recognition, imaging allows the early detection of cardiovascular complications in patients with COVID-19. The combination of cardiothoracic approaches has been proposed for advanced imaging techniques, i.e., CT scan and MRI, for a simultaneous evaluation of cardiovascular structures, pulmonary arteries, and lung parenchyma. Several mechanisms have been proposed to explain the cardiovascular injury, and among these, it is established that the host immune system is responsible for the aberrant response characterizing severe COVID-19 and inducing organ-specific injury. We illustrate novel evidence to support the hypothesis that molecular mimicry may be the immunological mechanism for myocarditis in COVID-19. The present article provides a comprehensive review of the available evidence of the immune mechanisms of the COVID-19 cardiovascular injury and the imaging tools to be used in the diagnostic workup. As some of these techniques cannot be implemented for general screening of all cases, we critically discuss the need to maximize the sustainability and the specificity of the proposed tests while illustrating the findings of some paradigmatic cases.

Advanced Imaging Supports the Mechanistic Role of Autoimmunity and Plaque Rupture in COVID-19 Heart Involvement

De Santis, Maria;Francone, Marco;Chiti, Arturo;Selmi, Carlo;
2022

Abstract

The cardiovascular system is frequently affected by coronavirus disease-19 (COVID-19), particularly in hospitalized cases, and these manifestations are associated with a worse prognosis. Most commonly, heart involvement is represented by myocarditis, myocardial infarction, and pulmonary embolism, while arrhythmias, heart valve damage, and pericarditis are less frequent. While the clinical suspicion is necessary for a prompt disease recognition, imaging allows the early detection of cardiovascular complications in patients with COVID-19. The combination of cardiothoracic approaches has been proposed for advanced imaging techniques, i.e., CT scan and MRI, for a simultaneous evaluation of cardiovascular structures, pulmonary arteries, and lung parenchyma. Several mechanisms have been proposed to explain the cardiovascular injury, and among these, it is established that the host immune system is responsible for the aberrant response characterizing severe COVID-19 and inducing organ-specific injury. We illustrate novel evidence to support the hypothesis that molecular mimicry may be the immunological mechanism for myocarditis in COVID-19. The present article provides a comprehensive review of the available evidence of the immune mechanisms of the COVID-19 cardiovascular injury and the imaging tools to be used in the diagnostic workup. As some of these techniques cannot be implemented for general screening of all cases, we critically discuss the need to maximize the sustainability and the specificity of the proposed tests while illustrating the findings of some paradigmatic cases.
Advanced imaging
Autoimmunity
COVID-19
Computed tomography
Magnetic resonance
Myocardial injury
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11699/68473
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