2018 Volume 57 Issue 13 Pages 1819-1826
Objective Although life-threatening cardiac complications in influenza infection are rare, subclinical influenza-associated cardiac abnormalities may occur more frequently. We investigated the prevalence of subclinical cardiac findings.
Methods After obtaining their written informed consent, 102 subjects were enrolled in the present study. The study subjects underwent a first set of examinations, which included electrocardiography (ECG), echocardiography, and the measurement of their cardiac enzyme levels. Those with one or more abnormal findings among these examinations were encouraged to undergo a repeat examination 2 weeks later.
Results Among the 102 subjects enrolled, 22 (21.6%) were judged to have cardiac findings, including ST-T abnormalities, pericardial effusion, diastolic dysfunction, and cardiac enzyme elevation. Eighteen of these 20 subjects underwent a second screening at a median of 14 days later, and it was found that 11 of the 18 subjects were free from cardiac findings on this second examination. This suggested that the abnormalities were only transient and they therefore might have been associated with influenza. Approximately 20% of the influenza patients enrolled had cardiac findings, including ST-T segment abnormalities, pericardial effusion, and cardiac enzyme elevation.
Conclusion Among the 102 patients who were studied, the cardiac findings were only mild and transient; however, physicians should be aware of influenza infection-associated cardiac abnormalities because such abnormalities may not be rare.