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Yale cardiologist: Add heart to the list of organs impacted by COVID-19 infection

Coronavirus

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — Doctors say they are seeing some patients who have effects of COVID-19 in their heart.

“Potentially, even long-term effects on the heart even after individuals have recovered, after their initial course with COVID,” says Dr. Nihar Desai, Assistant Professor of Medicine in the Cardiovascular Medicine Section of the Yale School of Medicine and Yale Medicine physician.

Dr. Desai says that a small number of cases have been seen and larger studies are needed, but it is something to watch out for.

“We’re seeing there does seem to be evidence of the virus actually replicating or multiplying within the heart muscle itself in some number of these patients. The number one concern is that there would be a weakening of the heart muscle, a condition called congestive heart failure,” Dr. Desai adds.

Also unknown right now is if the coronavirus can reside in the heart.

He says MRI’s have revealed inflammation or irritation of the heart muscle in people who are recovering from COVID-19. Those with pre-existing heart conditions, heart disease, hypertension, and diabetes could be more at risk.

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