Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the most common co-morbidity associated with COVID-19 and the fatality rate in COVID-19 patients with CVD is higher compared to other comorbidities, such as hypertension and diabetes. Preliminary data suggest that COVID-19 may also cause or worsen cardiac injury in infected patients through multiple mechanisms such as 'cytokine storm', endotheliosis, thrombosis, lymphocytopenia etc. Autopsies of COVID-19 patients reveal an infiltration of inflammatory mononuclear cells in the myocardium, confirming the role of the immune system in mediating cardiovascular damage in response to COVID-19 infection and also suggesting potential causal mechanisms for the development of new cardiac pathologies and/or exacerbation of underlying CVDs in infected patients. In this review, we discuss the potential underlying molecular mechanisms that drive COVID-19-mediated cardiac damage, as well as the short term and expected long-term cardiovascular ramifications of COVID-19 infection in patients.
Keywords: COVID-19; Cytokine storm; Heart failure; Immunopathology; Macrophages; Monocytes; Myocarditis; Myofibroblasts; Neutrophils; SARS-Cov2.
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