COVID-19 Heart Study

Cardiovascular study for adults with COVID-19 infection

We are enrolling adults (≥ 18 years) with prior COVID-19 infection, as documented by a positive SARS-CoV2 RT-PCR test.

This study will examine long-term effects of COVID-19 on the heart. This research protocol entails cardiac MRI and echocardiography exams as well as a symptom status questionnaire and a 6-minute walk test. 

Participants will undergo:

  • Same day echocardiogram and cardiac MRI
  • Symptom status questionnaire and 6-minute walk test
  • 3-year follow-up exam 

Participants in this study contribute to research that may help doctors and patients learn more about long-term consequences of COVID-19. Findings from this study could improve the care and outcomes for COVID-19 survivors.

Why is this study important?

COVID-19 is an ongoing global pandemic that has affected more than 38 million people in the United States. Many COVID-19 survivors experience persistent cardiopulmonary symptoms including tiredness and shortness of breath, but the basis for such symptoms is poorly understood. A growing population of patients survive COVID-19 but remain at risk for long-term harmful cardiac consequences including worsened physical effort tolerance and heart failure. Cardiac Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) and echo are important tools to assess long-term effects of COVID-19 and can demonstrate changes in the structure and function of the heart. The purpose of this study is to investigate the etiology of long-term cardiac symptoms among COVID-19 survivors to develop more informed therapies and improve clinical outcomes.

What do we hope to learn?

The purpose of this study is to test if visualizing the heart with cardiac MRI/echo will be important in the understanding cardiac function and prediction of cardiopulmonary symptoms, physical effort tolerance, and outcomes in COVID-19 survivors. If successful, our research will allow us to identify the causes of lasting cardiopulmonary symptoms and begin developing cardiac and lung directed therapies accordingly.

What would I have to do?

If you choose to participate in this study, a cardiac MRI and echo will be performed subsequent to COVID-19 infection. A blood sample will be collected for biomarker analysis. You will also be asked to complete an exercise test (6-minute walk test) and questionnaire at this first visit. At your second visit, you will also be asked to participate in a follow-up cardiac MRI, echo, exercise test, and questionnaire 36 months after your COVID-19 infection.

What is MRI?

MRI is a test that uses magnetic fields to measure the heart’s shape, and function. MRI also provides information about tissue properties of the heart related to blood flow and muscle injury. The cardiac MRI used in this study uses gadolinium, which allows your doctors to visualize structures of the heart more clearly.

What is Echo?

Echocardiogram (echo) is a test that uses sound waves (ultrasound) to produce moving images of the heart as it is beating. It is commonly performed to visualize and measure the shape of the heart and how it is functioning.

You aren’t eligible if you:

  • Can’t have an MRI because you have an implanted device like a non-compatible pacemaker or defibrillator.
  • Are severely claustrophobic (fear of small spaces).

Cardiac Magnetic Resonance for Tissue Characterization-Based Risk Stratification of Cardiopulmonary Symptoms, Effort Tolerance, and Prognosis Among COVID-19 Survivors (PI: Jiwon Kim, MD)

Are you eligible?
  • ≥ 18 years old?
  • Hospitalized or seen in emergency department with COVID-19 infection.

If you are interested and think you may qualify, please contact our study team for further information:

COVID-19 Heart Study


PI: Jiwon Kim, MD

IRB Protocol # 21-02023362