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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2021  |  Volume : 5  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 4-8

Cardiac pauses in critically ill Coronavirus Disease-2019 patients


1 Department of Medicine, Center for Cardiovascular Diseases and Sciences, Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center, Shreveport, LA, USA
2 Department of Internal Medicine, Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center, Shreveport, LA, USA

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Paari Dominic
LSU Health Science Center, 1501 Kings Highway, Shreveport, LA 71103
USA
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/hm.hm_35_20

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Importance: Coronavirus disease 2019 is associated with a variety of arrhythmias. However, there are limited data regarding bradyarrhythmias and cardiac pauses in COVID-19. Objective: The objective was to characterize significant cardiac pauses in critically ill COVID-19 patients. Design: This was a case series of 26 consecutive patients with confirmed COVID-19 at an academic medical center in Shreveport, Louisiana. Setting: The study was conducted in the intensive care unit (ICU) and step-down ICU. Participants: Patients were either on mechanical ventilation or high-flow oxygen by nasal cannula. Main Outcomes and Measures: Demographic, clinical, laboratory, and medication data were analyzed. Continuous telemetry monitoring was utilized to record number, type, and duration of bradyarrhythmic events as well as their risk determinants. Results: The median age of the 26 patients was 49.5 years (range 33–78). Fifteen (57.7%) were men. Incidence of significant bradycardia and cardiac pauses, defined as an event, occurred in 11 (42.3%) patients. The median age of patients with an event was 57 years (range 33–66) and 5 (45.5%) were men. The average pause duration was 6.77 s with a range of 1.6–30 s. Five of 11 (45.5%) patients had high-grade atrioventricular (AV) nodal block. One patient required temporary pacemaker insertion for complete heart block and recurrent asystole arrests. A trend toward higher troponin I level in bradyarrhythmia patients was noted (mean troponin I was 2.72 ng/mL, [standard deviation] 4.48) compared to patients without event(s) (mean 0.42 ng/mL 0.52, P = 0.07). Conclusions and Relevance: Significant bradycardic events in critically ill patients with COVID-19 occurred in 42.3% of patients. This is the first case series of such events in COVID-19 patients. Increased awareness of these findings could affect management techniques and call for enhanced monitoring of such patients.


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