COVID-19-associated spontaneous coronary artery dissection

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For COVID-19 frequently asked inpatient questions, click here

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Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1]; Associate Editor(s)-in-Chief: Ayesha Farheen, MBBS[2] Rinky Agnes Botleroo, M.B.B.S.

Overview

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS‐CoV‐2) is caused by novel coronavirus disease 2019 virus (COVID‐19). It has infected over 1.5 million patients worldwide with cardiac manifestations and injury in up to 20–28% of patients. Spontaneous coronary artery dissection (SCAD) is a non-iatrogenic non-traumatic separation of the coronary arterial wall. It could be either atherosclerotic or non-atherosclerotic.

Historical Perspective

  • COVID-19 was first reported in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China in December 2019.[1]
  • The World Health Organization declared the COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic on March 12, 2020.
  • On June 22, 2020, the first case of COVID-19 with spontaneous coronary artery dissection was reported.[2]

Classification

Pathophysiology

Atherosclerotic-Spontaneous Coronary Artery Dissection (A-SCAD) :

  • While the exact mechanism of cardiac injury in this population is unknown, the proposed etiology is that as a result of the infection there is changes in myocardial demand leading to an ischemic cascade and increased inflammatory markers that predispose patients to plaque instability and subsequent rupture. [4]

Non-Atherosclerotic-Spontaneous Coronary Artery Dissection (NA-SCAD):

  • Contemporary usage of the term ‘SCAD’ is typically synonymous with NA-SCAD. It can result in extensive dissection lengths, especially in the presence of arterial fragility from predisposing arteriopathies.
  • NA-SCAD can develop in any layer (intima, media, or adventitia) of the coronary artery wall. However, the initiation and the pattern of dissection in NA-SCAD is different from the pattern observed in patients with pre-existing atherosclerosis.
  • At present the pathophysiology of non-atherosclerotic spontaneous coronary artery dissection (NA-SCAD) continues to be poorly understood due to the rarity of this condition and its heterogeneous pathology. Although intimal tear or bleeding of vasa vasorum with intramedial hemorrhage seems to be the most probable reason, the exact underlying mechanism is still unknown.

Causes

Differentiating COVID-19-associated spontaneous coronary artery dissection from other Diseases

  • To view the differential diagnosis of COVID-19, click here.
  • To view a differential diagnosis on the other causes of chest pain, click here.

Risk Factors

Screening

  • Evaluation of patients presenting to the inpatient and outpatient settings during this global pandemic with cardiac chief complaints require a thorough history and examination to evaluate for potential infection with SARS‐CoV‐2.
  • The virus should be on the differential for all clinicians as a possible cause of cardiopulmonary complaints. Understanding the range of cardiac manifestations and how they can affect patients can help clinicians to further care for patients with potential COVID‐19 infection.

Natural History, Complications, and Prognosis

Prognosis

Diagnosis

History and Symptoms

SCAD can present as acute coronary syndrome and NSTEMI. The symptoms include:[6]

Patient Symptoms Past medical history and risk factors Laboratory/Imagings findings Treatment
55 years old, male admitted due

to

  • Fever,
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath with suspected COVID-19.
Developed chest pain 48 hrs after coming to the hospital Peripheral artery disease[2]
  • EKG: Inferior leads show Inverted T waves.
  • Elevated Troponin I from 355 ng/l --->70 ng/l 3 h later (Normal values <7 ng/l))[2]


  • Coronary angiogram :
    • Posterior descending artery is occluded
    • Presence of epicardial collateral from the left anterior descending artery
    • Intimal tear is present in the mid-right coronary artery with a spontaneous dissecting coronary hematoma
  • Optical coherence tomography (OCT):
    • Intimal rupture of right coronary artery
    • Spontaneous dissecting coronary hematoma
  • Coronary angiogram was planned.
70-year-old, male[3] Severe, persistent chest pain ( 8/10), which started 3 hrs before admission
  • EKG: precordial leads shows new ST-T abnormalities that were not present previously.[8]
ST-T abnormalities in the precordial leads.
48‐year‐old, female [6]


  • History of severe chest pain that awoke her from sleep
Severe retrosternal chest pain,9/10, pain radiates to the neck, and both arms.

Laboratory Findings

  • Elevated serum troponin level.
  • Increased high-sensitivity cardiac troponin T-test (hs-cTnT).
  • Increased D-dimer.
  • Blood count is usually in the normal range.
  • Inflammatory markers are usually in the normal range.

Electrocardiogram

  • New ST-T abnormalities in the precordial leads which are not present earlier.
  • Inverted T waves in the inferior leads.

X-ray

  • There are no x-ray findings associated with COVID-19-associated spontaneous coronary artery dissection.
  • To view the x-ray finidings on COVID-19, click here.

Echocardiography or Ultrasound

CT scan

  • To view the CT scan findings on COVID-19, click here.

MRI

Other Imaging Findings

Coronary angiography

Other Diagnostic Studies

Intravascular ultrasound (IVUS) and optical coherence tomography (OCT)

  • These imaging modalities show detailed morphology about the intramural lesion in situations when angiographic images are not clear. IVUS is important in the followup of the treatment of SCAD patients.
  • OCT is superior for visualizing intimal tears, intraluminal thrombi, false lumens, and intramural hematoma, but it is limited by optical penetration and shadowing, and may not depict the entire depth of the Intramural hematoma.OCT is preferred for imaging SCAD due to its superiority and ease in visualizing intramural hematoma , intimal disruption, and double lumens.[5]

Treatment

Medical Therapy

  • Antiplatelet therapy: The role of antiplatelet therapy for SCAD is unknown, but on the basis of the totality of evidence for aspirin in ACS and secondary prevention, along with its low side effect profile, aspirin appears reasonable to use for acute and long-term SCAD management. Clopidogrel for acute management of SCAD patients not treated with stents is of uncertain benefit.[5]
  • Statins: The use of statins for SCAD is controversial. The bulk of data for ACS demonstrates significant benefit with lipid lowering, and statins are routinely recommended post-MI. Because of the uncertainty and the general lack of atherosclerosis in SCAD patients, statins tend to only be administered to patients with pre-existing dyslipidemia.
  • Beta-blockers: Beta-blocker is associated with decreased recurrence of SCAD.[9].There is a general agreement that beta blockers take the most important place in the medical management of SCAD patients. These agents may improve the outcomes of SCAD patients with reducing vascular wall shear stress likewise in patients with aortic dissection.Furthermore, beta blockers should be used in these group of patients in order to reduce complications of myocardial infarction.[10][11]

Percutaneous coronary artery intervention (PCI)

  • Conservative management should be the first choice if emergent revascularization is not necessary.
  • To read more about PCI in Spontaneous Coronary Artery Dissection, Click here.

Coronary Artery Bypass Graft (CABG)

  • Coronary Artery Bypass Graft (CABG) should be considered for patients with left main dissections, extensive dissections involving proximal arteries, or in patients in whom PCI failed or who are not anatomically suitable for PCI.[5]

Primary Prevention

  • Limiting transmission of the SARS-CoV2 virus while protecting patients and members of healthcare team is a prime goal and cardiac catheterization laboratory protocols must be rapidly evolved to maintain high‐quality and safe cardiovascular care amidst the current pandemic.[6]
  • COVID‐19 testing prior to catheterization procedures where feasible
  • Adequate PPE to protect team members in COVID‐19 unknown or pending cases to reduce the risk of unplanned aerosol producing procedures such as intubation or CPR.

Secondary Prevention

  • There is no secondary measures for COVID-19-associated spontaneous coronary artery dissection.

References

  1. Meng X, Deng Y, Dai Z, Meng Z (June 2020). "COVID-19 and anosmia: A review based on up-to-date knowledge". Am J Otolaryngol. 41 (5): 102581. doi:10.1016/j.amjoto.2020.102581. PMC 7265845 Check |pmc= value (help). PMID 32563019 Check |pmid= value (help).
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 Courand, Pierre-Yves; Harbaoui, Brahim; Bonnet, Marc; Lantelme, Pierre (2020). "Spontaneous Coronary Artery Dissection in a Patient With COVID-19". JACC: Cardiovascular Interventions. 13 (12): e107–e108. doi:10.1016/j.jcin.2020.04.006. ISSN 1936-8798.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Seresini, Giuseppe; Albiero, Remo; Liga, Riccardo; Camm, Christian Fielder; Liga, Riccardo; Camm, Christian Fielder; Thomson, Ross (2020). "Atherosclerotic spontaneous coronary artery dissection (A-SCAD) in a patient with COVID-19: case report and possible mechanisms". European Heart Journal - Case Reports. doi:10.1093/ehjcr/ytaa133. ISSN 2514-2119.
  4. "Spontaneous coronary artery dissection of the left anterior descending artery in a patient with COVID‐19 infection - Kumar - - Catheterization and Cardiovascular Interventions - Wiley Online Library".
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 Saw, Jacqueline; Mancini, G.B. John; Humphries, Karin H. (2016). "Contemporary Review on Spontaneous Coronary Artery Dissection". Journal of the American College of Cardiology. 68 (3): 297–312. doi:10.1016/j.jacc.2016.05.034. ISSN 0735-1097.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 Kumar, Kris; Vogt, Joshua C.; Divanji, Punag H.; Cigarroa, Joaquin E. (2020). "Spontaneous coronary artery dissection of the left anterior descending artery in a patient with COVID ‐19 infection". Catheterization and Cardiovascular Interventions. doi:10.1002/ccd.28960. ISSN 1522-1946. line feed character in |title= at position 96 (help)
  7. Guo T, Fan Y, Chen M, Wu X, Zhang L, He T, Wang H, Wan J, Wang X, Lu Z (March 2020). "Cardiovascular Implications of Fatal Outcomes of Patients With Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)". JAMA Cardiol. doi:10.1001/jamacardio.2020.1017. PMC 7101506 Check |pmc= value (help). PMID 32219356 Check |pmid= value (help).
  8. Seresini, Giuseppe; Albiero, Remo; Liga, Riccardo; Camm, Christian Fielder; Liga, Riccardo; Camm, Christian Fielder; Thomson, Ross (2020). "Atherosclerotic spontaneous coronary artery dissection (A-SCAD) in a patient with COVID-19: case report and possible mechanisms". European Heart Journal - Case Reports. doi:10.1093/ehjcr/ytaa133. ISSN 2514-2119.
  9. Saw J, Humphries K, Aymong E, Sedlak T, Prakash R, Starovoytov A; et al. (2017). "Spontaneous Coronary Artery Dissection: Clinical Outcomes and Risk of Recurrence". J Am Coll Cardiol. 70 (9): 1148–1158. doi:10.1016/j.jacc.2017.06.053. PMID 28838364 PMID 28838364 Check |pmid= value (help).
  10. Amsterdam, Ezra A.; Wenger, Nanette K.; Brindis, Ralph G.; Casey, Donald E.; Ganiats, Theodore G.; Holmes, David R.; Jaffe, Allan S.; Jneid, Hani; Kelly, Rosemary F.; Kontos, Michael C.; Levine, Glenn N.; Liebson, Philip R.; Mukherjee, Debabrata; Peterson, Eric D.; Sabatine, Marc S.; Smalling, Richard W.; Zieman, Susan J. (2014). "2014 AHA/ACC Guideline for the Management of Patients With Non–ST-Elevation Acute Coronary Syndromes: Executive Summary". Circulation. 130 (25): 2354–2394. doi:10.1161/CIR.0000000000000133. ISSN 0009-7322.
  11. "Acute Myocardial Infarction in Women | Circulation".