Are COVID-19-linked arrhythmias caused by viral damage to the heart’s pacemaker cells?

The SARS-CoV-2 virus can infect specialized pacemaker cells that maintain the heart's rhythmic beat, setting off a self-destruction process within the cells, according to a preclinical study co-led by researchers at Weill Cornell Medicine, New York-Presbyterian and NYU Grossman School of Medicine. The findings offer a possible explanation for the heart arrhythmias that are commonly observed in patients with SARS-CoV-2 infection.