The impact of SARS-CoV-2 an infection on sufferers with a historical past of atrial fibrillation

The fast transmission of extreme acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has brought about the coronavirus illness 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. SARS-CoV-2 has been characterised to be extremely virulent and transmissible, inflicting a variety of infections, ranging from gentle to extreme.

Study: Clinical Outcome of Hospitalized COVID-19 Patients with History of Atrial Fibrillation. Image Credit: Lightspring/Shutterstock
Research: Medical End result of Hospitalized COVID-19 Sufferers with Historical past of Atrial Fibrillation. Picture Credit score: Lightspring/Shutterstock

For the reason that onset of the pandemic, scientists have labored extensively laborious to grasp varied facets of the virus, its mode of an infection, the underlying mechanism, and the way it impacts varied age teams and people with comorbidities. 


In response to some stories, Italy was probably the most affected international locations throughout the first wave of SARS-CoV-2 an infection. Scientists consider that atrial fibrillation (AF) could complicate the medical end result of COVID-19 illness, particularly, for hospitalized sufferers. AF is an irregular and very fast coronary heart rhythm (arrhythmia) that may trigger blood clots within the coronary heart. AF sufferers are at a excessive danger of coronary heart failure, stroke, and different cardiac issues.

Researchers have acknowledged that pre-existing AF might have an effect on the medical end result of severely contaminated hospitalized COVID-19 sufferers as a result of it would improve the general physique irritation. Moreover, AF decreases the flexibility of a person to compensate for the hemodynamic alterations of acute SARS-CoV-2 sickness. Scientists have acknowledged that very scarce proof is accessible on the prognosis of hospitalized COVID-19 sufferers with a historical past of AF.

Though earlier research have indicated a powerful affiliation between cardiovascular illnesses and COVID-19, very restricted information can be found about how totally different types of AF have an effect on the medical outcomes of COVID-19 illness.

A brand new research

Addressing the aforementioned analysis hole, scientists have evaluated if AF may very well be considered a comorbidity. They additional decided the kind of pre-existing AF that enhances the chance of creating extreme types of SARS-CoV-2 an infection and even dying. This research is accessible in Medicina.

On this research, scientists carried out an observational retrospective evaluation of COVID-19 sufferers hospitalized in 9 Italian Hospitals, between 1st March and thirtieth April 2020. They obtained stories of the medical outcomes, pharmacological remedy offered, and whether or not these sufferers had a historical past of AF and its kind (paroxysmal, persistent, or everlasting). The cohort was divided into two teams based mostly on the pre-existence of AF as comorbidity – one group was with out AF historical past and the opposite had a historical past of AF.

Additional, the group containing people with a historical past of AF was subdivided based mostly on the categories, i.e., everlasting AF historical past teams and non-permanent AF historical past teams. On this research, scientists recognized AF utilizing 12-lead electrocardiographic (ECG) or steady ambulatory ECG monitoring.


The present research revealed that 25% of sufferers hospitalized because of COVID-19 an infection had a historical past of AF. This consequence confirms that AF is a frequent comorbidity related to SARS-CoV-2 an infection. Though earlier research have proven {that a} historical past of AF is strongly linked with acute respiratory misery syndrome (ARDS), this research revealed that it doesn’t have an effect on in-hospital mortality. A previous research performed in Northern Eire reported that 75% of aged sufferers hospitalized because of COVID-19 had a historical past of AF. In response to the information offered by the COVID-19 Process Drive of the Italian Nationwide Institute of Well being, AF was current in 24.5% of 355 non-surviving COVID-19 sufferers. Not too long ago, the New York State Division of Well being reported that AF is the seventh amongst COVID-19 comorbidities.

The authors of this research reported that AF impacts the medical end result of COVID-19 sufferers, by enhancing the opportunity of ARDS. They emphasised that AF have to be thought of among the many cardiovascular comorbidities that trigger fast deterioration of the respiratory illness. Earlier research have hypothesized that AF may very well be the arrhythmic marker of underlying inflammatory actions, which initially favors and later amplifies COVID-19 an infection and at last, results in worse respiratory outcomes. 

The distinction within the findings of the present research with a earlier research on the chance of in-hospital mortality is perhaps because of a divergent research cohort that constituted a diversified prevalence of hospitalized sufferers with AF.

The current research concluded that the medical end result of hospitalized COVID-19 sufferers was not affected by the kind of pre-existing AF (everlasting or non-permanent).

The findings of the present research are according to earlier research on the prevalence of thromboembolic occasions and pulmonary embolism. 


Two of the constraints of this research are its observational retrospective design and the heterogeneity within the medical presentation of SARS-CoV-2 an infection. Moreover, because of the lack of computed tomography imaging information, researchers decided the severity of SARS-CoV-2 an infection based mostly on the presence of extreme ARDS throughout hospitalization. An additional limitation of this research is its small pattern measurement.


This research revealed that pre-existing AF is a frequent comorbidity in hospitalized COVID-19 sufferers, which has been independently related to ARDS, however not with in-hospital mortality. The authors beneficial cautious medical monitoring of COVID-19 hospitalized sufferers with AF, for early detection of those that are at the next danger of creating ARDS.

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