Netherlands heart journal : monthly journal of the Netherlands Society of Cardiology and the Netherlands Heart Foundation, Volume 29, Issue Suppl 1, 16 3 2021, Pages 5-12 How often and to what extent do admitted COVID-19 patients have signs of cardiac injury? Habets MAW, Sturkenboom HN, Tio RA, Belfroid E, Hoogervorst-Schilp J, Siebelink HJ, Jansen CW, Smits PC


COVID-19 can cause myocardial injury in a significant proportion of patients admitted to the hospital and seems to be associated with worse prognosis. The aim of this review was to study how often and to what extent COVID-19 causes myocardial injury and whether this is an important contributor to outcome with implications for management.


A literature search was performed in Medline and Embase. Myocardial injury was defined as elevated cardiac troponin (cTn) levels with at least one value > 99th percentile of the upper reference limit. The primary outcome measure was mortality, whereas secondary outcome measures were intensive care unit (ICU) admission and length of hospital stay.


Four studies and one review were included. The presence of myocardial injury varied between 9.6 and 46.3%. Myocardial injury was associated with a higher mortality rate (risk ratio (RR) 5.54, 95% confidence interval (CI) 3.48-8.80) and more ICU admissions (RR 3.78, 95% CI 2.07-6.89). The results regarding length of hospital stay were inconclusive.


Patients with myocardial injury might be classified as high-risk patients, with probably a higher mortality rate and a larger need for ICU admission. cTn levels can be used in risk stratification models and can indicate which patients potentially benefit from early medication administration. We recommend measuring cTn levels in all COVID-19 patients admitted to the hospital or who deteriorate during admission.

Keywords: Myocardial injury, cardiac troponin, Covid-19

Neth Heart J. 2021 4;29(Suppl 1):5-12