Background: Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has been widespread since late December 2019, with several symptoms related to the upper and lower respiratory system. However, its cardiac manifestations are less frequently studied. We aimed to analyze the available COVID-19 data on acute cardiac injury, using troponin and brain natriuretic peptide (BNP) levels.
Methods: We performed a systematic review on Medline/PubMed, Scopus, and Google Scholar databases until March 25, 2020. Relevant records reporting the incidence of acute cardiac injury as well as troponin and BNP levels were collected from published peer-reviewed articles with further analysis according to the clinical status of the patients (severe, non-severe, and death).
Results: Eleven records of 1394 individuals were included. The mean age of patients with acute cardiac injury was 56.6 ± 33.4 years (males: 54.3%). The incidence of acute cardiac injury was 15% (95% CI: 11, 20%). Further analysis revealed that dead or severe patients had significantly higher percentages of myocardial injury, compared to non-severe ones (peer-reviewed: 44%, 95% CI: 16, 74% vs. 24%, 95% CI: 15, 34% vs. 5%, 95% CI: 1, 12%, respectively). Mean total troponin was 10.23 pg/mL (95% CI: 5.98, 14.47), while 13% (95% CI: 8%, 18%) of patients had elevated levels. Mean BNP was 216.74 pg/mL (95% CI: 3.27, 430.20).
Conclusion: Acute cardiac injury in COVID-19 patients is more frequent than what was expected at the beginning of the outbreak. Meanwhile, further studies are needed to investigate the utility of cardiac biomarkers as diagnostic and prognostic tools for long-term cardiac complications of this infection.