New Delhi, June 08, 2021 :
18 years old boy Abdullah from Chandni Chowk, New Delhi suddenly found that the day to day activities had become difficult due to fatigue and shortness of breath. Family members got worried when the young boy suddenly became unconscious after 2 days and had to be rushed to the hospital.
Routine tests including RT PCR came out to be negative but was found to have weak and poorly functioning, enlarged heart. His echocardiography revealed that the heart had started to fail with reduced pumping leading to build up of fluids in the lungs which kept him out of breath. He was diagnosed to be having myocarditis, the etiology of which is many times viral infection.
He did give history of an episode of fever preceding this episode, giving a clue that it may be post Covid infection cardiac complication.
We got his antibodies for Covid done which were unusually high confirming the suspicion of post Covid cardiac involvement. He needed to be treated with antiarrythmic also along with heart failure drugs and was discharged after a few days of treatment from Sir Ganga Ram Hospital and is presently recovering at home.
Some symptoms may persist after the acute phase of Covid infection such as palpitations, fatigue and exercise intolerance in as much as 35 to 87%. Many times patients suffer from what doctors describe as unexplained tachycardia (fast heart beat) and postural hypotension (fall in blood pressure), postural hypotension, but occurrence of myocarditis and heart failure post covid is rare. It is a life threatening complication needing urgent attention.
According to Dr. Ashwani Mehta, Senior Consultant, Department of Cardiology, Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, “It is rare that Covid infection can also directly affect the heart causing inflammation of the Cardiac tissues. This inflammation of the muscles of heart (Myocarditis) can be a potentially life threatening complication. It can present as congestive heart failure, a term used to describe the failing heart pump, the symptoms of which are breathlessness, puffiness of face and swelling over feat. It can also cause abnormalities of cardiac rhythm which if not treated appropriately and on time can even lead to cardiac arrest.”