ACC: pericardial effusion prevalent in hospitalized COVID-19 patients

FRIDAY, March 25, 2022 (HealthDay News) — Pericardial effusion is common in hospitalized patients with COVID-19 but is rarely due to pericarditis, according to a study published online March 21 in the Journal of the American Heart Associationahead of presentation at the American College of Cardiology Annual Meeting, held April 2-4 in Washington, D.C.

Eihab Ghantous, MD, MPH, of Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center in Israel, and colleagues examined the prevalence, associations, and clinical impact of pericardial involvement in 530 hospitalized patients with COVID-19.

The researchers found that 75 patients (14%) had pericardial effusion, but only 17 patients (3.2%) met the criteria for acute pericarditis. Independent associations were observed for pericardial effusion with modified early warning score, cerebral natriuretic peptide, and right ventricular function. In the unadjusted analysis, pericardial effusion was associated with excess mortality (relative risk, 2.44; 95% confidence interval, 1.50 to 3.83; P = 0.0005). After adjusting for modified early warning score and echocardiographic and hemodynamic parameters, there was a statistically nonsignificant association with mortality (relative risk, 1.86; 95% confidence interval, 0.95 to 3.5 ; P = 0.06) and improved model fit. Assessment of pericardial effusion associated with modified early warning score, left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF), and tricuspid annular plane systolic excursion (TAPSE) independently predicted outcome (relative risk, 1.86; 95% confidence interval, 1.09 to 3.07; P = 0.02) and better model fit.

“To obtain meaningful clinical value for risk stratification, a limited echocardiographic examination, including LVEF, TAPSE, and assessment for the presence of pericardial effusion, is sufficient,” the authors write.

The study was funded by Novartis Israel Ltd.

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