Introduction: COVID-19 can cause severe acute respiratory failure requiring management in intensive care unit with invasive ventilation and a 40% mortality rate. Cardiovascular manifestations are common and studies have shown an increase in right ventricular (RV) dysfunction associated with mortality. These studies, however, comprise heterogeneous patient groups with few requiring invasive ventilation. This study will investigate the prevalence and prognostic significance of RV dysfunction in ventilated patients with COVID-19 which may lead to targeted interventions to improve patient outcomes. Methods and analysis: This prospective multicentre observational cohort study will perform transthoracic echocardiography (TTE) in 150 patients with COVID-19 requiring invasive ventilation for more than 48 hours. RV dysfunction will be defined as TTE evidence of RV dilatation along with the presence of septal flattening. Baseline demographics, disease severity data and clinical information relating to proposed aetiological mechanisms of RV dysfunction (acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), disordered coagulation, direct myocardial injury and ventilation) will be collected and analysed. Primary outcome measures include the prevalence of RV dysfunction and its association with 30-day mortality. Exploratory outcome measures will investigate the association of the proposed aetiological mechanisms of RV dysfunction to the primary outcomes. Prevalence of RV dysfunction will be determined along with 95% Clopper-Pearson CIs and 30-day survival will be analysed using logistic regression adjusting for patient demographics, phase of disease and baseline severity of illness. The role of potential aetiological factors (ARDS, disordered coagulation, direct myocardial injury and ventilation) in relation to the primary outcomes will be analysed using logistic regression. Ethics and dissemination: Approval was gained from Scotland A Research Ethics Committee (REC reference 20/SS/0059). Findings will be disseminated by various methods including webinars, international presentations and publication in peer-reviewed journals.


© Author(s) (or their employer(s)) 2021. Re-use permitted under CC BY. Published by BMJ. ttps://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/ This is an open access article distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 Unported (CC BY 4.0) license, which permits others to copy, redistribute, remix, transform and build upon this work for any purpose, provided the original work is properly cited, a link to the licence is given, and indication of whether changes were made. See: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.

Cite as

Willder, J., McCall, P., Messow, C., Gillies, M., Berry, C. & Shelley, B. 2021, 'Study protocol for COVID-RV: a multicentre prospective observational cohort study of right ventricular dysfunction in ventilated patients with COVID-19', BMJ Open, 11, article no: e042098. http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmjopen-2020-042098

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Last updated: 17 June 2022
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