PURPOSE OF REVIEW: The new pandemic of coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) has produced a global tumult and has overburdened national health systems . We herein discuss the cardiovascular implications and complications of this pandemic analyzing the most recent data clustered over the last several months .
RECENT FINDINGS: COVID-19 afflicts the cardiovascular system producing acute cardiac injury in 10-20% of cases with mild disease but in greater than 50-60% in severe cases, contributing to patients' demise . Other cardiovascular complications include arrhythmias, heart failure, pulmonary embolism and shock . Off-label therapies are being trialed with their own inherent cardiovascular risks, while supportive therapies currently dominate, until more specific and effective antiviral therapies and vaccinations become available . A controversial issue relates to the safety of drugs blocking the renin--angiotensin system as an angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) homologue, ACE2, serves as the receptor for viral entry into host cells . However, to-date, no harm has been proven for these drugs .
SUMMARY: In the cardiovascular system, COVID-19 can induce acute cardiac injury, arrhythmias, heart failure, pulmonary embolism, shock and death, whereas anti-COVID therapies also confer serious cardiovascular side-effects . Ongoing extensive efforts focus on specific vaccines and antivirals . Meanwhile, cardiovascular risk factors and diseases should be jointly controlled according to current evidence-based guidelines.