Screening of Potential Cardiac Involvement in Competitive Athletes Recovering From COVID-19: An Expert Consensus Statement.

Dermot Phelan; Jonathan H Kim; Michael D Elliott; Meagan M Wasfy; Paul Cremer; Amer M Johri; Michael S Emery; Partho P Sengupta; Sanjay Sharma; Matthew W Martinez; Andre La Gerche
As our understanding of the complications of coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) evolve, subclinical cardiac pathology such as myocarditis, pericarditis, and right ventricular dysfunction in the absence of significant clinical symptoms represents a concern. The potential implications of these findings in athletes are significant given the concern that exercise, during the acute phase of viral myocarditis, may exacerbate myocardial injury and precipitate malignant ventricular arrhythmias. Such concerns have led to the development and publication of expert consensus documents aimed at providing guidance for the evaluation of athletes after contracting COVID-19 in order to permit safe return to play. Cardiac imaging is at the center of these evaluations. This review seeks to evaluate the current evidence regarding COVID-19-associated cardiovascular disease and how multimodality imaging may be useful in the screening and clinical evaluation of athletes with suspected cardiovascular complications of infection. Guidance is provided with diagnostic "red flags" that raise the suspicion of pathology. Specific emphasis is placed on the unique challenges posed in distinguishing athletic cardiac remodeling from subclinical cardiac disease. The strengths and limitations of different imaging modalities are discussed and an approach to return to play decision making for athletes post-COVID-19, as informed by multimodality imaging, is provided.
ISSN 1876-7591
Published 01 Dec 2020
Volume 13
Issue 12
Pages 2635-2652
DOI 10.1016/j.jcmg.2020.10.005
Type Journal Article | Practice Guideline | Review