Myocardial Injury in Severe COVID-19 Compared with Non-COVID-19 Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome

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9 Scopus citations


Background: Knowledge gaps remain in the epidemiology and clinical implications of myocardial injury in coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). We aimed to determine the prevalence and outcomes of myocardial injury in severe COVID-19 compared with acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) unrelated to COVID-19. Methods: We included intubated patients with COVID-19 from 5 hospitals between March 15 and June 11, 2020, with troponin levels assessed. We compared them with patients from a cohort study of myocardial injury in ARDS and performed survival analysis with primary outcome of in-hospital death associated with myocardial injury. In addition, we performed linear regression to identify clinical factors associated with myocardial injury in COVID-19. Results: Of 243 intubated patients with COVID-19, 51% had troponin levels above the upper limit of normal. Chronic kidney disease, lactate, ferritin, and fibrinogen were associated with myocardial injury. Mortality was 22.7% among patients with COVID-19 with troponin under the upper limit of normal and 61.5% for those with troponin levels >10 times the upper limit of normal (P<0.001). The association of myocardial injury with mortality was not statistically significant after adjusting for age, sex, and multisystem organ dysfunction. Compared with patients with ARDS without COVID-19, patients with COVID-19 were older and had higher creatinine levels and less favorable vital signs. After adjustment, COVID-19-related ARDS was associated with lower odds of myocardial injury compared with non-COVID-19-related ARDS (odds ratio, 0.55 [95% CI, 0.36-0.84]; P=0.005). Conclusions: Myocardial injury in severe COVID-19 is a function of baseline comorbidities, advanced age, and multisystem organ dysfunction, similar to traditional ARDS. The adverse prognosis of myocardial injury in COVID-19 relates largely to multisystem organ involvement and critical illness.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)553-565
Number of pages13
Issue number6
StatePublished - Feb 9 2021


  • COVID-19
  • respiratory distress syndrome
  • troponin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)


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