COVID-19 for the Cardiologist: Basic Virology, Epidemiology, Cardiac Manifestations, and Potential Therapeutic Strategies

JACC Basic Transl Sci. 2020 Apr 10;5(5):518-536. doi: 10.1016/j.jacbts.2020.04.002. eCollection 2020 May.


Coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19), a contagious disease caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome-coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2), has reached pandemic status. As it spreads across the world, it has overwhelmed health care systems, strangled the global economy, and led to a devastating loss of life. Widespread efforts from regulators, clinicians, and scientists are driving a rapid expansion of knowledge of the SARS-CoV-2 virus and COVID-19. The authors review the most current data, with a focus on the basic understanding of the mechanism(s) of disease and translation to the clinical syndrome and potential therapeutics. The authors discuss the basic virology, epidemiology, clinical manifestation, multiorgan consequences, and outcomes. With a focus on cardiovascular complications, they propose several mechanisms of injury. The virology and potential mechanism of injury form the basis for a discussion of potential disease-modifying therapies.

Keywords: ACE2, angiotensin-converting enzyme 2; ARDS, acute respiratory distress syndrome; CFR, case fatality rate; COVID-19; COVID-19, coronavirus disease-2019; CoV, coronavirus; DIC, disseminated intravascular coagulation; ER, endoplasmic reticulum; ICU, intensive care unit; SARS-CoV, severe acute respiratory syndrome-coronavirus; SARS-CoV-2; SOFA, sequential organ failure assessment; TMPRSS2, transmembrane serine protease 2; cardiovascular; hsCRP, high-sensitivity C-reactive protein; treatments; virology.

Publication types

  • Review