HealthDay News — Health care professionals should be aware that myocarditis is a potential complication of COVID-19, according to a review published online July 7 in the International Journal of Clinical Practice.

Sawai Singh Rathore, from Dr Sampurnanand Medical College in Jodhpur, India, and colleagues conducted a systematic literature review and compiled clinical characteristics, diagnostic findings, management, and outcomes for myocarditis cases associated with COVID-19 reported in articles published in the medical literature from December 2019 through January 5, 2021.

Based on 41 studies involving 42 patients, the researchers report that 71.4% of patients were men, with a median age of 43.4 years. The most common presenting symptom was fever (57%), while hypertension was the most common comorbidity. In most of the patients, cardiac biomarkers troponin and brain natriuretic peptide were elevated (about 90 and 87%, respectively). Electrocardiographic findings, including ST-segment and T-wave changes, were nonspecific. Other findings included left ventricular systolic dysfunction with increased heart size on echocardiogram and myocardial edema and injury on cardiac magnetic resonance imaging. Diffuse lymphocytic inflammatory infiltrates were seen on endomyocardial biopsy. Treatment most frequently involved antivirals and corticosteroids, with 38% of patients requiring vasopressor assistance. Two-thirds of patients recovered, while 8 patients died.

“Myocarditis is becoming a more prevalent complication in COVID-19 disease as more studies are being published,” Rathore said in a statement. “Due to the risk of a sudden worsening of patients’ conditions, knowledge of this cardiac complication of COVID-19 disease is crucial for health care professionals.”


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