The Zika virus may be linked to CV complications, according to a case report presented at the American College of Cardiology Scientific Session.
“Since the majority of people with Zika virus infections present with mild or nonspecific symptoms and symptoms of CV complications may not occur right away, we need to raise awareness about the possible association,” Karina Gonzalez Carta, MD, a cardiologist and research fellow at the department of cardiovascular diseases at Mayo Clinic, said in a press release.
Carta and colleagues enrolled nine patients (mean age, 47 years; six women) who exhibited CV symptoms in a prospective, observational, multicenter study from a Venezuelan outbreak.
The nine patients received clinical, ECG, laboratory, radiology, echocardiogram, Holter and cardiac MRI evaluations.
Arrhythmias occurred in eight patients and included acute AF, paroxysmal and persistent AF, nonsustained atrial tachycardia and ventricular arrhythmias.
In six patients, there were symptoms of HF (five with reduced ejection fraction and one with preserved ejection fraction, preeclampsia and moderate to severe pericardial effusion).
According to the researchers, awareness of the association between Zika and CV complications is key and studies are needed to define the incidence of Zika myocarditis systematically.
In the release, Carta said patients should consult with their doctor when traveling to areas with known Zika virus.
“Our report provides clear evidence that there is a relationship between the Zika virus infection and [CV] complications,” Carta said. “Based on these initial results, people need to be aware that if they travel to or live in a place with known Zika virus and develop rash, fever or conjunctivitis, and within a short time frame also feel other symptoms such as fatigue, shortness of breath or their heart skipping beats, they should see their doctor.” – by Dave Quaile
Carta KG, et al. Abstract 1250-293. Presented at: American College of Cardiology Scientific Session; March 17-19, 2017; Washington, D.C.
Disclosure: The researchers report no relevant financial disclosures.