Covid-19 damages heart muscles like no other disease, study finds

Prashasti Awasthi Mumbai | Updated on September 18, 2020 Published on September 18, 2020

The virus cleanly slices the heart muscle; such structural damage is difficult to heal, and so patients die of cardiac dysfunction

A new study has revealed that the SARS-CoV-2 virus has the ability to cut through the cardio-vascular muscles like no other disease.

The pre-print version of the study was published in bioRxiv. Researchers at the Gladstone Institute in San Francisco, United States, infested human heart cells grown in cultured dishes with the virus.

Researchers found that the virus cleanly sliced the muscle of the heart. The damage looked similar to the one found in patients who died of the virus.

Researchers speculated that this could be the major reason why 50 per cent of coronavirus positive patients suffered from cardiac dysfunction.

Also read: Severity of lung, heart damage due to Covid-19 diminishes over time: Study

Researchers added in their study that such damage to the heart muscle, especially structural damage, can be difficult to heal because unlike any other muscle in the body, it cannot rest.

Researchers wrote in their study: “Determining the mechanisms responsible for the diminished cardiac function is critically important to develop cardioprotective therapies for Covid-19. We observe that SARS-CoV-2 infection creates extremely precise and ordered disruptions to the myofibrillar structure and dissolution of the cardiac contractile machinery, which would inevitably lead to functional collapse.”

“The striking consistency and periodicity of fragmentation suggest specific protease activity responsible for the separation of the sarcomeric thick and thin filaments, as shown by immunofluorescence and TEM (transmission electron microscopy),” they added.

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Published on September 18, 2020
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