Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), an acute and highly transmissible infectious disease, has reached a pandemic level since 11 March 2020 and continues to challenge the healthcare system worldwide. The pathogenesis of COVID-19 is a complex process involving mechanisms that suppress the host antiviral and innate immune response, while triggering marked activation of coagulation and hyperinflammation leading to cytokine storm in severe COVID-19. This review summarizes current evidence related to COVID-19-associated cardiovascular severe illness and mortality, which encompasses life-threatening clinical manifestations, including myocardial injury, fulminant myocarditis, cardiac arrhythmia, and ischemic stroke. The onset of hypercoagulable state is consistent with increased venous thromboembolism including deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism. Thromboembolic manifestations include arterial thrombotic events such as stroke, myocardial infarction, and limb ischemia. Several treatment strategies have been investigated to mitigate COVID-19-associated cardiovascular clinical manifestations. The prevalence of thrombo-inflammatory syndrome and subsequent cardiovascular dysfunction prompted the implementation of antithrombotic therapy and strategies targeting major pro-inflammatory cytokines involved in COVID-19 cytokine storm. The development of new guidelines for effective treatment strategies requires concerted efforts to refine our understanding of the mechanisms underlying cardiovascular disease and large-scale clinical trials to reduce the burden of COVID-19 hospitalization and mortality.

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