SARS-CoV-2 Cardiac Involvement Decreased in Collegiate Athletes

Group of healthy people running on London Bridge in Central London. They are running in the city streets wearing professional sport clothing
For U.S. collegiate athletes, SARS-CoV-2 infection is associated with a low prevalence of cardiac involvement.

HealthDay News — For U.S. collegiate athletes, severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection is associated with a low prevalence of cardiac involvement, according to a study published online April 17 in Circulation.

Nathaniel Moulson, M.D., from Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, and colleagues conducted a prospective, multicenter, observational cohort study to examine the prevalence, clinical characteristics, and outcomes of SARS-CoV-2 cardiac involvement among U.S. collegiate athletes from Sept. 1 to Dec. 31, 2020.

The researchers found that 3,018 of the 19,378 athletes tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 and underwent cardiac evaluation. Overall, 2,820 athletes underwent at least one element of cardiac triad testing (12-lead electrocardiography [ECG], troponin, and/or transthoracic echocardiography [TTE]); if clinically indicated, this testing was followed by cardiac magnetic resonance (CMR). Primary screening CMR was conducted in 198 athletes. Abnormal findings indicative of SARS-CoV-2 cardiac involvement were identified by ECG, cardiac troponin, and TTE in 0.7, 0.9, and 0.9 percent, respectively. In 21 athletes (0.7 percent), definite, probable, or possible SARS-CoV-2 involvement was identified; of these athletes, 0.5 percent underwent clinically indicated CMR and 3.0 percent underwent primary screening CMR (15 and six, respectively). Compared with a primary screening CMR, the diagnostic yield of CMR for SARS-CoV-2 involvement was 4.2 times higher for a clinically indicated CMR (12.6 versus 3.0 percent).

“Most athletes with no symptoms or mild illness from SARS-CoV-2 can return to sports safely without additional cardiac testing as long as they feel good on return to exercise and don’t have cardiopulmonary symptoms like chest pain,” a coauthor said in a statement.

One author disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.

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