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Original Article   

Minerva Medica 2022 Mar 25

DOI: 10.23736/S0026-4806.22.08035-1

Copyright © 2022 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English

Transient asymptomatic bradycardia and Remdesivir in COVID-19 patients

Giuseppe ADAMO, Marta AMATA, Nunzia CANNIZZARO, Carlo CHESSARI, Giuseppe M. SAPIENZA, Giada M. CAPIZZI, Salvatore BATTAGLIA, Alida BENFANTE , Nicola SCICHILONE

Division of Respiratory Diseases, Dipartimento Universitario di Promozione della Salute, Materno Infantile, Medicina Interna e Specialistica di Eccellenza G. D'Alessandro (PROMISE), Paolo Giaccone University Hospital, University of Palermo, Palermo, Italy


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BACKGROUND: COVID-19 is an infectious disease caused by a coronavirus in humans, namely SARS-CoV-2, which has quickly become a global pandemic. The infection is responsible for a severe form of pneumonia, which may lead to lung failure and death. Among the therapeutic strategies, the antiviral agent Remdesivir has become one of the most used drugs. The current literature reports a causal correlation between Remdesivir administration and the incidence of cardiovascular effects. We aimed at further investigating this relationship, by exploring the association between the use of Remdesivir and the onset of bradyarrhythmic disorders.
METHODS: We reviewed medical records, blood exams and chest imaging of 85 patients with COVID-19 pneumonia (M/F: 57/28, age 61±12 years) admitted between September 2020 and May 2021 to the Division of Respiratory Diseases in Palermo, Italy.
RESULTS: We found a significant correlation between treatment with Remdesivir and the occurrence of bradycardia, lasting for at least 3 days, which returned to normal values after the discontinuation of the drug. A significant reduction in heart rate (HR) was observed in the days following Remdesivir administration (L. Ratio 47.4, p<0.0001) in 24 patients (HR on the first day of observation: 75±14 bpm; at discharge: 72±14 bpm). Cardiac events occurred more frequently in subjects with extensive pulmonary involvement (greater than 50% of the total parenchyma, as assessed by chest CT).
CONCLUSIONS: We suggest to carefully monitor the administration of the drug in patients with risk factors for arrhythmic or cardiovascular events.


KEY WORDS: Bradycardia; Remdesivir; COVID-19

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