Publication Date



COVID-19, antibody, echocardiography, stress testing, SARS-CoV-2, seroprevalence


Purpose: Transesophageal echocardiography is an aerosol-generating procedure, and exercise stress testing is a potentially aerosol-generating activity. Concern has been raised about heightened risk of transmission of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) among health care personnel participating in these procedures. We aimed to investigate the prevalence of past coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) infection in echocardiography and stress laboratory staff.

Methods: All staff who worked in the echocardiography and stress laboratories of one high-traffic urban hospital from March 15, 2020, to June 15, 2020, were asked to voluntarily participate. Those willing to participate were consented, and past COVID-19 infection was confirmed by a SARS-CoV-2 IgG antibody test (ARCHITECT, Abbott Laboratories) from June 15, 2020, to July 3, 2020. Clinical data were collected from the electronic medical record, and self-reported symptoms were documented with a participant survey.

Results: A total of 43 staff members (86.0% of 50 total laboratory staff) participated. A majority of participants were less than 40 years old (69.8%), were White (86.0%), and were women (79.1%); mean body mass index was 24.9 ± 4.7 kg/m2. Of the 43 staff members tested for past COVID-19 infection, 3 (7.0%) had a positive SARS-CoV-2 IgG antibody result. There were no unique features in the 3 SARS-CoV-2 antibody-positive subjects; of these, 2 had known prior COVID-19 infection and 1 was asymptomatic.

Conclusions: This study provides clinical data on the seroprevalence of SARS-CoV-2 antibody in echocardiography and stress laboratory staff who regularly participate in a variety of procedures that are or may be aerosol-generating.




October 15th, 2020


December 15th, 2020


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