Although Covid-19 is known for severe damage to the lungs and breathing difficulties, heart problems caused by the disease are becoming more and more common problems.
Studies, one of which is published every day, deepen the concerns about the short and long-term effects of Covid-19 on the heart. Acıbadem International Hospital Cardiology Specialist Prof. Dr. Murat Sezer, while collecting the problems caused by Covid-19 in the heart under five main headings as "heart attack, rhythm disorders, heart muscle inflammation, heart membrane inflammation and heart failure", he recommends a cardiac examination for those who have a disease. Prof. Dr. Drawing attention to the fact that cardiac patients can overcome Covid-19 more severely, Murat Sezer emphasizes the importance of the control to be made by magnetic resonance (MR) imaging in the heart after recovery.
Covid-19 is slow in heart patients
Since the outbreak in China, various heart problems caused by coronavirus have been observed. Explaining that the true extent of heart problems caused by Covid-19 has emerged with the experience sharing of doctors from different parts of the world, Prof. Dr. Murat Sezer said, "According to studies, heart problems occur in varying degrees in one out of every 19 or 5 patients who had Covid-10, and Covid-19 tends to be more severe in these patients." says. When the hearts of people who are not known to have a heart disease before have survived the coronavirus and their hearts are imaged with magnetic resonance (MRI), 70-80 percent of these people can have ongoing inflammatory reactions in different parts of their hearts. Noting that a significant portion of these patients had Covid-19 without any symptoms, Prof. Dr. Murat Sezer, "Well, how does Covid-19 affect the heart?" gives a detailed answer to the question.
1. It triggers a heart attack
Research shows that the main effects of Covid-19 on the heart are a heart attack. Explaining that two of the mechanisms that increase the risk of heart attack especially stand out in these patients, Prof. Dr. Murat Sezer said, “In those with cardiovascular disease, the cholesterol plaque, which causes narrowing of the vein due to the inflammatory effect of Covid-19, tears and the resulting clot can cause a heart attack by occluding the vessels that feed the heart. In addition, the reduced amount of oxygen in the blood due to damage to the lungs of patients can also trigger a heart attack. Another situation that causes a heart attack is the emergence of blockages with coagulation in the microcirculation that feeds the heart muscle. " says.
2.Arrhythmia is the only symptom
Rhythm disorders are the second most common problem in the heart. Benign or malignant rhythm disorders are common in coronavirus patients. Rhythm disturbances can be seen in 5 out of every 19 Covid-4 patients. Stating that these disorders may occur due to inflammation of the pathways that provide electrical conduction in the heart, Prof. Dr. Murat Sezer said, "In some patients who do not have any other symptoms, the feeling of palpitations can be the first and only complaint." he gives information.
3.The heart muscle is inflamed
It can also be common to see heart muscle inflammation in patients with Covid-19. Noting that while this inflammation resolves over time in some of the patients, recovery may take a long time in others. Dr. Murat Sezer, "Even after recovery, scars can remain in the heart that cannot be seen with standard imaging methods." he speaks.
4.The pericardium becomes inflamed
In some of the patients, inflammation and fluid accumulation in the membranes surrounding the heart can be observed. Sometimes there are no symptoms, and sometimes, depending on the severity of the inflammation and the collected fluid, there may be complaints such as sharp chest pain or an increase in shortness of breath. Fluid accumulating between the pericardial leaflets due to Covid-19 involvement can be easily recognized by echocardiography, one of the standard imaging methods, and can mostly be self-limited and absorbed over time.
Diseases that affect the human body completely, such as Covid-19, increase the burden on the heart. While this increased burden does not cause major problems in some of the patients, the heart can hardly do its job in patients who already have heart disease and / or develop heart muscle inflammation due to Covid-19. Expressing that the pumping power of the heart decreases in this situation, which is defined as heart failure, Prof. Dr. Murat Sezer said, "The heart cannot remove the blood in the lungs, the fluid accumulated in the lungs makes breathing more difficult." he tells.
Have your heart exam after illness
Detecting the damage caused by the virus in heart patients with Covid-19 is of great importance in terms of treatment planning. Noting that the examination of the heart with magnetic resonance (MR) imaging is important to see conditions such as edema and inflammation caused by coronavirus, to detect the affected heart functions and damaged areas. Dr. Murat Sezer said, “Thus, it may be possible to determine the risks for the future or to offer appropriate treatment and recommendations to the patients. It is predicted that post-coronavirus heart MRI will be the gold standard in detecting the problems caused by the disease, especially in those with previous heart disease. " says.
2-4 weeks rest before exercise
Rest and cardiologist examination is recommended for 2-4 weeks before returning to intense exercise programs, especially after the end of the disease. Stating that if there is an inflammation or dysfunction in the heart on examination, the resting period can be extended up to 4-6 months. Dr. Murat Sezer said, "In special cases such as pregnancy, cancer or rheumatic disease, consulting the physician with whom the patient is followed up and strictly following the recommendations will be the right step to minimize the long-term effects of Covid-19." he ends.