Evangelos Oikonomou*, Stamatios Lampsas*, Nektarios Souvaliotis, Savvas Sarantos, Gerasimos Siasos, Garyphallia Poulakou, Thekla Lytra, Georgios Angelos Papamikroulis, Nikolaos Fountoulakis, Panagiotis Theofilis, Dionysios Tsoukalas, Maria Ioanna Gounaridi, Aikaterini Tsatsaragkou, Georgios Marinos, Dimitris Tousoulis and Manolis Vavuranakis Pages 3225 - 3230 ( 6 )
Background: Coronavirus Disease-19 (COVID-19) is implicated in endotheliitis, which adversely affects cardiovascular events. The impact of vaccination with COVID-19 on the clinical outcome of patients is documented.
Objective: To evaluate the impact of vaccination with COVID-19 on the severe acute respiratory syndrome, coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection-related endothelial impairment.
Methods: We enrolled 45 patients hospitalized for COVID-19 (either vaccinated or not against SARS-CoV-2). Clinical and laboratory data were collected, and brachial artery flow-mediated dilation (FMD) was evaluated. Subjects without COVID-19 were used as the control group.
Results: There was no difference in age (64.7 ± 7.5 years vs. 61.2 ± 11.1 years vs. 62.4 ± 9.5, p = 0.28), male sex (49% vs. 60% vs. 52%, p = 0.71), control subjects, vaccinated, and unvaccinated subjects with COVID-19, respectively. Of the patients with COVID-19, 44% were vaccinated against SARS-CoV-2. Unvaccinated COVID-19 patients had significantly impaired FMD compared to vaccinated COVID-19 patients and Control subjects (2.05 ± 2.41 % vs. 7.24 ± 2.52% vs. 7.36 ± 2.94 %, p <0.001). Importantly, post hoc tests revealed that unvaccinated COVID-19 patients had significantly impaired FMD from both Vaccinated COVID-19 subjects (p <0.001) and from Control subjects (p <0.001). There was no difference in FMD between the control group and the vaccinated COVID-19 group (p = 0.99).
Conclusion: Hospitalized patients with COVID-19 present endothelial dysfunction in the acute phase of the disease. Endothelial function in unvaccinated patients with COVID-19 is impaired compared to control subjects as well compared to vaccinated patients with COVID-19. Vaccinated hospitalized subjects with COVID-19 do not show endothelial dysfunction, strengthening the protective role of vaccination against SARS-CoV-2.
COVID-19, flow-mediated dilation, endothelial function, vaccination, endotheliitis, SARS-CoV-2.