Special Issue "COVID-19-Associated Myocarditis and Cardiac Pathology"
Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 October 2021.
Interests: immune cell composition of the heart; immune responses during adult and neonatal viral myocarditis; progression of viral myocarditis towards autoimmunity
Since the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic, medical reports have highlighted the devastating effects of this “respiratory disease” on the heart. The most severe COVID-19 cases are often associated with cardiovascular symptoms, including elevated troponin in serum, arrhythmias and reduced heart function. These can result from the viral infection of many bodily systems, including the lungs or the vasculature. However, the magnificent work by various groups of scientists searching for the presence of the virus in the hearts of patients and pre-clinical models has demonstrated that SARS-CoV-2 is capable of infecting cardiomyocytes and causing myocarditis. Nevertheless, many questions remain regarding the complex interactions between the virus and the heart.
The virus interactions with cardiomyocytes and the cardiac immune system, whether resident or recruited, are essential determinants of acute viral susceptibility and effective viral clearance. Pre-existing cardiovascular disease is a risk factor for COVID-19 susceptibility and mortality, yet the reasons for this are not well understood. The elucidation of these processes is critical to the evaluation of risk and interventions in susceptible patients.
Another critical unknown is the long-term effect of coronavirus infection on heart function. While the COVID-19 pandemic has taken an enormous toll in the form of lives, the number of survivors from asymptomatic and severe cases vastly outnumber those. Our experience with pre-clinical animal models of viral myocarditis, and some hints from the clinic, bring forth a frightful prediction. Whether acute or chronic, immunological or viral, the heart damage derived from a viral infection can be associated with, sometimes deadly, long-term alterations in the heart.
Hence, in this Special Issue on “COVID-19-Associated Myocarditis and Cardiac Pathology”, we propose to the research community to address aspects of the acute and long-term effects of COVID-19 infection and heart health.
Dr. Xavier Clemente-Casares
Manuscript Submission Information
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- cardiomyocyte infection
- cardiomyocyte injury
- viral myocarditis
- COVID-19-associated myocardial infarct or cardiomyopathy
- post-COVID-19 cardiac alterations