Heart inflammation found in some athletes with COVID-19, study shows

Some competitive college athletes show evidence of inflamed heart muscle or myocarditis, according to study published in JAMA Cardiology.

Researchers performed a comprehensive cardiac magnetic resonance exam on 26 competitive college athletes who had tested positive for COVID-19 between June and August. The athletes played football, soccer, lacrosse, basketball and track. None required hospitalization, and 12 reported mild symptoms, while others were asymptomatic.

They found that four athletes (15 percent) had CMR findings consistent with myocarditis, or inflammation of the heart muscle. Two of these four athletes with evidence of myocardial inflammation had mild symptoms and the other two were asymptomatic.

Eight additional athletes (30.8 percent) exhibited late gadolinium enhancement, without T2 elevation, which suggests prior myocardial injury.

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