The novel severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) generated a worldwide emergency, until the declaration of the pandemic in March 2020. SARS-CoV-2 could be responsible for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), which goes from a flu-like illness to a potentially fatal condition that needs intensive care. Furthermore, the persistence of functional disability and long-term cardiovascular sequelae in COVID-19 survivors suggests that convalescent patients may suffer from post-acute COVID-19 syndrome, requiring long-term care and personalized rehabilitation. However, the pathophysiology of acute and post-acute manifestations of COVID-19 is still under study, as a better comprehension of these mechanisms would ensure more effective personalized therapies. To date, mounting evidence suggests a crucial endothelial contribution to the clinical manifestations of COVID-19, as endothelial cells appear to be a direct or indirect preferential target of the virus. Thus, the dysregulation of many of the homeostatic pathways of the endothelium has emerged as a hallmark of severity in COVID-19. The aim of this review is to summarize the pathophysiology of endothelial dysfunction in COVID-19, with a focus on personalized pharmacological and rehabilitation strategies targeting endothelial dysfunction as an attractive therapeutic option in this clinical setting.
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