Incidence of myocardial injury in coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19): a pooled analysis of 7,679 patients from 53 studies

Cardiovasc Diagn Ther. 2020 Aug;10(4):667-677. doi: 10.21037/cdt-20-535.


Background: Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has become global pandemic and resulted in considerable morbidity and mortality since December 2019. Information on the incidence of myocardial injury remains scarce.

Methods: English-language databases (PubMed, Embase, Cochrane), Chinese-language databases (CNKI, VIP, WANFANG), and preprint platform were searched to identify studies that reported the myocardial injury data in COVID-19 patients. Random-effects meta-analyses were used to derive the pooled incidence and relative risks (RRs) of myocardial injury. Variations by disease severity were examined by subgroup analyses. Sensitivity analyses were performed to strengthen the results. Meta-regression was applied to explore the risk factors associated with myocardial injury.

Results: A total of 53 studies involving 7,679 patients were included. The pooled incidence of myocardial injury was 21% [95% confidence interval (CI), 17-25%; I2, 96.5%]. The highest incidence of myocardial injury was found in non-survivors (66%; 95 CI%, 54-78%; I2, 85.7%), followed by severe patients (43%; 95 CI%, 33-53%; I2, 93.0%) and non-severe patients (11%; 95 CI%, 7-15%; I2, 95.2%). Higher risk of myocardial injury was detected in severe patients than non-severe patients (RR, 5.74; 95% CI, 3.74-8.79; I2, 86.8%). All the sensitivity analyses confirmed the robustness of primacy results.

Conclusions: This meta-analysis showed that myocardial injury occurred in 21% of COVID-19 patients. An elevated rate was observed in non-survivors (66%) and severe patients (43%). Severe patients had a 4.74-fold increase in the risk of myocardial injury than non-severe patients. Aggressive strategy may be considered for COVID-19 patients at high risk of myocardial injury.

Keywords: Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SAR-CoV-2); coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19); incidence; meta-analysis; myocardial injury.