We assessed the impact of COVID-19 infection on cardiovascular events in patients with suspected or known coronary artery disease (CAD) referred to stress single-photon emission computed tomography myocardial perfusion imaging (MPS).


A total of 960 consecutive patients with suspected or known CAD were submitted by referring physicians to stress MPS for assessment of myocardial ischemia between January 2018 and June 2019. All patients underwent stress-optional rest MPS. Perfusion defects were quantitated as % of LV myocardium and expressed as total perfusion defect (TPD), representing the defect extent and severity. A TPD ≥ 5% was considered abnormal.


During a mean follow-up of 27 months (range 4-38) 31 events occurred. Moreover, 55 (6%) patients had a COVID-19 infection. The median time from index MPS to COVID-19 infection was 16 months (range 6-24). At Cox multivariable analysis, abnormal MPS and COVID-19 infection resulted as independent predictors of events. There were no significant differences in annualized event rate in COVID-19 patients with or without abnormal MPS (p = 0.56). Differently, in patients without COVID-19, the presence of abnormal MPS was associated with higher event rate (p < .001). Patients with infection compared to those without had a higher event rate in the presence of both normal and abnormal TPD.


In patients with suspected or known CAD, the presence of COVID-19 infection during a short-term follow-up was associated with a higher rate of cardiovascular events.


Covid-19; Myocardial perfusion imaging; Prognosis.