Infectious Disease

CV damage uncommon for skilled athletes with delicate COVID-19

March 11, 2021

2 min read

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Martinez reports that he received fees for personal consultants from Major League Soccer while conducting the study. Phelan does not report any relevant financial information. In the study you will find all relevant financial information from all other authors.

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Professional athletes who rarely faced COVID-19 with cardiac events or injuries after a return-to-play test, researchers reported.

To assess the prevalence of detectable inflammatory heart disease in professional athletes with a previous COVID-19 infection, the researchers carried out a cross-sectional study with heart tests from May to October 2020, carried out by six professional sports leagues on 789 professional athletes.

Professional athletes who rarely faced COVID-19 with cardiac events or injuries after a return-to-play test, researchers reported. The data was provided by Martinez MW et al. JAMA Cardiol. 2021; doi: 10.1001 / jamacardio.2021.0565.

According to the researchers, five athletes (0.6%) had imaging evidence of inflammatory heart disease that led to the restriction of play. The athletes who underwent cardiac screening and returned to professional sports did not experience any adverse cardiac events.

Matthew W. Martinez

“This indicates that the majority of patients with COVID-19 should not be concerned about immediate heart involvement and should not need heart tests. After a quarantine period, returning to exercise with no symptoms shows a good short-term outcome in patients with no symptoms or mild symptoms with COVID-19, ”said the editor of Cardiology Today Matthew W. Martinez, MD, Healio said, director of exercise cardiology at Morristown Medical Center in New Jersey.

In the cohort, the mean age of the athletes was 25 years (range, 19-41 years) and 98.5% were men. In the cohort, 58.3% had previous symptoms attributable to COVID-19 disease and 41.7% were asymptomatic or pauci-symptomatic but tested positive for the SARS-CoV-2 virus. COVID-19 positivity was diagnosed through a polymerase chain reaction assay or an antibody test, according to the researchers.

Heart screening gave abnormal results in 3.8% of the athletes – 0.8% had elevated troponin, 1.3% had an abnormal EKG, and 2.5% had an abnormal echocardiogram – which required additional testing.

Among those who needed more testing, five athletes (0.6% of the total cohort) had cardiac MRI results that indicated inflammatory heart disease (myocarditis in three and pericarditis in two), the researchers wrote.

No athletes with severe COVID-19 disease have been documented. One athlete was hospitalized overnight for observation, but no athlete was hospitalized for cardiopulmonary symptoms, the researchers wrote.

A longitudinal study of athletes with previous COVID-19 is needed to improve understanding of the short-term and potential long-term cardiac pathological sequelae from COVID-19, according to the researchers.

Dermot Phelan

“While small, single-center studies have reported heart injuries using cardiac magnetic resonance as a screening tool much more frequently, I think we can reassure us with this much larger study that approaches screening in a more clinically meaningful way. ” Dermot Phelan, MD, PhD, Healio said, the medical director of cardiovascular imaging and director of the exercise cardiology program at the Atrium Health Sanger Heart & Vascular Institute.

For more informations:

Matthew W. Martinez, MD, Contact Exercise Cardiology, 111 Madison Ave., Suite 301, Morristown, NJ 07960.

Dermot Phelan, MD, PhD, can be reached at the Sports Cardiology Center, 1001 Blythe Blvd., Suite 300, Charlotte, NC 28203.

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