4 Cardiac Arrhythmias Associated with COVID-19

5 months have already passed since the pandemic COVID-19 started. Unfortunately, the threat that it is causing to our health won’t subside anytime soon. Each day, more and more individuals are getting hit with the virus. Furthermore, there won’t be a vaccine for COVID-19 until sometime next year.

Young children, older adults, pregnant women, and those people with existing medical conditions are of high-risk of the virus. People who get infected with the virus may manifest certain symptoms of illnesses such as cardiac arrhythmias. According to Circulation: Arrhythmia and Electrophysiology, there electrophysiologic issues such as the four new cases of different types of cardiac arrhythmias that occurred in COVID-19 patients in New York City. 

  • High-grade atrioventricular (AV) block

High-grade atrioventricular (AV) block is manifested by a 76-year old patient in New York that has been living with type 2 diabetes and hypertension. According to the analysis, the patient experienced progressive dyspnea, weakness and myalgias for consecutive 6 days. The ECG conducted showed signs of sinus bradycardia with high-grade AV block. High-grade atrioventricular (AV) block is a type of third-degree heart block wherein sinus node activities are randomly conducted to the ventricles but there is no AV node present. Possible treatment for high-grade atrioventricular (AV) block is cardiac pacemaker implantation.

  • Atrial fibrillation

Atrial fibrillation is the second type of cardiac arrhythmia that was observed in a patient in New York City. The patient is 56 years old with no medical history prior to having a fever and dyspnea for two days. Treatments were given but to no avail and were forwarded to the ICU. He developed hemodynamically unstable atrial fibrillation (AF) after 10 days in the ICU. Atrial fibrillation is a very common type of cardiac arrhythmia which is characterized by the irregular beating of the heart. If not treated right away, atrial fibrillation may lead to blood clots, stroke, and other cardiovascular illnesses. 

  • Polymorphic ventricular tachycardia

Polymorphic ventricular tachycardia was observed in a 64-year-old patient in New York. The patient is initially admitted after experiencing coughing and shortness of breath for two days. The patient has a medical history of non-ischemic cardiomyopathy, paroxysmal AF and type 2 diabetes. Polymorphic ventricular tachycardia is an unstable rhythm of the heart with more than 100 heart rate with a rapidly changing QRS axis and/or morphology. It is very common in critical care environments. Treatments for Polymorphic ventricular tachycardia include intravenous magnesium.

  • Cardiogenic shock and PEA arrest

Cardiogenic shock and PEA arrest was observed in a patient with hypertension, hyperlipidemia, type 2 diabetes and ischemic cardiomyopathy. The patient is 70 years old and was experiencing chest pain, coughing, and shortness of breath. Chest X-ray and ECG was conducted and showed signs of sinus tachycardia with a left bundle branch block. After thorough examination and analysis, the patient’s cardiogenic shock and PEA arrest may be due to the global cardiomyocyte injury, and cytokine storm, leading to inflammation-mediated conduction disturbance. 

To learn more about these cases, you may contact us or read the full article at https://www.ahajournals.org/doi/10.1161/CIRCEP.120.008719.

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