A new study, published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, showed new evidence related to the ability of the Corona virus to infect heart tissue and possibly destroy it directly in people with the virus.
The study, conducted by researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, Missouri, and published this week, shows that previously reported cases of heart tissue damage in Covid-19 patients did not occur as a result of infections associated with infection as was previously believed.
The study shows that the virus has shown a great ability to affect the activities of the heart by attacking the heart muscles directly in many cases.
The lead author of the study, Professor Corey Lavigne, says that “early in the spread of the epidemic, there was evidence that the virus could cause heart failure or heart problems in generally healthy people.”
Lavigne adds that “some college athletes who were allowed to return to competitive athletics after contracting the virus later showed heart problems.”
To better understand how the Corona virus interacts with human heart tissue, the researchers responsible for the study designed cardiac muscle models using stem cells.
These laboratory models allowed the researchers to demonstrate how the virus specifically infects the heart muscle cells and directly damages the heart cells responsible for muscle contraction.
Lavigne warns that “this condition may lead to a chronic disease that can have long-term consequences for sufferers.”
“Even young people who have very mild symptoms can develop heart problems later on, which limits their ability to exercise,” he adds.
And scientific studies published last year confirmed that more than half of those infected with the emerging coronavirus showed abnormal heart muscle activity, while one in seven patients, or about 13 percent, had heart damage.
At the time, the researchers believed that the effect of the virus on the heart could progress to myocarditis, due to the systemic inflammatory response to infection, or high lung pressure due to damage to parts of it.
But the new study refutes this theory, and it is now certain that the emerging corona virus directly attacks the heart in some patients and causes problems even for people who have not previously suffered from cardiovascular disease.