Videos | Coronavirus (COVID-19) | December 14, 2021

VIDEO: Study Reviews Severity of COVID-19 Heart Inflammation in College Athletes

Jean Jeudy, M.D., professor of radiology and vice chair of informatics at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, presented a late-breaking study at the 2021 Radiological Society of North America (RSNA) meeting on COVID-19 linked myocarditis in college athletes. 

A small but significant percentage of college athletes with COVID-19 develop myocarditis, a potentially dangerous inflammation of the heart muscle, that can only be seen on cardiac MRI, according to the study Jeudy presented. Myocarditis, which typically occurs as a result of a bacterial or viral infection, can affect the heart’s rhythm and ability to pump and often leaves behind lasting damage in the form of scarring to the heart muscle. It has been linked to as many as 20% of sudden deaths in young athletes. The COVID-19 pandemic raised concerns over an increased incidence of the condition in student-athletes.

For the new study, clinicians at schools in the highly competitive Big Ten athletic conference collaborated to collect data on the frequency of myocarditis in student-athletes recovering from COVID-19 infection. Conference officials had required all athletes who had COVID-19 to get a series of cardiac tests before returning to play, providing a unique opportunity for researchers to collect data on the athletes’ cardiac status.

Jeudy serves as the cardiac MRI core leader for the Big Ten Cardiac Registry. This registry oversaw the collection of all the data from the individual schools of the Big Ten conference. He reviewed the results of 1,597 cardiac MRI exams collected at the 13 participating schools. 

Thirty-seven of the athletes, or 2.3%, were diagnosed with COVID-19 myocarditis, a percentage on par with the incidence of myocarditis in the general population. However, an alarmingly high proportion of the myocarditis cases were found in athletes with no clinical symptoms. Twenty of the patients with COVID-19 myocarditis (54%) had neither cardiac symptoms nor cardiac testing abnormalities. Only cardiac MRI identified the problem.

Read more details in the article COVID-19 Linked to Heart Inflammation in College Athletes.

Related COVID-19 Imaging and Myocarditis Content:

Overview of Myocarditis Cases Caused by the COVID-19 Vaccine

COVID-19 Linked to Heart Inflammation in College Athletes — RSNA 2021 late-breaker

VIDEO: Cardiac MRI Assessment of Non-ischemic Myocardial Inflammation Caused by COVID-19 Vaccinations — Interview with Kate Hanneman, M.D.

Cardiac MRI of Myocarditis After COVID-19 Vaccination in Adolescents

Large International Study Reveals Spectrum of COVID-19 Brain Complications - RSNA 2021 late-breaker

COVID-19 During Pregnancy Doesn’t Harm Baby’s Brain

VIDEO: Large Radiology Study Reveals Spectrum of COVID-19 Brain Complications — Interview with Scott Faro, M.D.

FDA Adds Myocarditis Warning to COVID mRNA Vaccine Clinician Fact Sheets

Small Number of Patients Have Myocarditis-like Illness After COVID-19 Vaccination

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