A COVID-19 Cardiac MRI Study: What Went Wrong?

by Alex Nowbar and Larry Husten


We still don’t know what COVID-19 is doing to the heart or how we should be investigating it and treating it. Last month JAMA Cardiology published a German cohort study of 100 patients recently recovered from COVID-19. The paper concludes: “In this study of a cohort of German patients recently recovered from COVID-19 infection, CMR revealed cardiac involvement in 78 patients (78%) and ongoing myocardial inflammation in 60 patients (60%), independent of preexisting conditions, severity and overall course of the acute illness, and time from the original diagnosis. These findings indicate the need for ongoing investigation of the long-term cardiovascular consequences of COVID-19.”

These findings were incredibly impactful because they suggested that the virus is doing something directly to the heart and that we need to be doing a whole lot more about it. But there are important questions overhanging the study that have not been answered. And if the findings of the study are untrue or dubious, the consequences in this setting are massive, resulting in the misdirection of vital resources in a time of crisis.

A number of striking problems with the study were noted on Twitter

Click here to read the full post on CVCT CardioBrief.


  1. Dears Alex Nowbar and Larry Husten,
    In our concept, the toxic effect of SARS-CoV-2 on the autonomic nervous system lead to metabolic derangements and a weakened immune system. BTW, A study found an elevated heart rate in 138 patients with Covid-19. Those in ICU (n
    = 36) and in Non-ICU (n = 102) the median heart rate was respectively: 89 (81-101) and 86 (77-96) [ https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/fullarticle/2761044%5D
    Please see our article Covid-19: Treating Cause and Effects – “Autonomic Dysfunction, the Immune System and Lactic Acidosis” published as a Letter to the Editor of Positive Health Online in Issue 263, June 2020* with a copy at http://infarctcombat.org/Covid-19.LettertotheEditorPHO.pdf

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