: Conflicting results on the cardiovascular involvement after SARS-CoV-2 infection generated concerns on the safety of return-to-play (RTP) in athletes. The aim of this study was to evaluate the prevalence of cardiac involvement after COVID-19 in Olympic athletes, who had previously been screened in our pre-participation program. Since November 2020, all consecutive Olympic athletes presented to our Institute after COVID-19 prior to RTP were enrolled. The protocol was dictated by the Italian governing bodies and comprised: 12-lead ECG, blood test, cardiopulmonary exercise test (CPET), 24-h ECG monitoring, and spirometry. Cardiovascular Magnetic Resonance (CMR) was also performed. All Athletes were previously screened in our Institute as part of their periodical pre-participation evaluation. Forty-seven Italian Olympic athletes were enrolled: 83% asymptomatic, 13% mildly asymptomatic, and 4% had pneumonia. Uncommon premature ventricular contractions (PVCs) were found in 13% athletes; however, only 6% (n = 3) were newly detected. All newly diagnosed uncommon PVCs were detected by CPET. One of these three athletes had evidence for acute myocarditis by CMR, along with Troponin raise; another had pericardial effusion. No one of the remaining athletes had abnormalities detected by CMR. Cardiac abnormalities in Olympic athletes screened after COVID-19 resolution were detected in a minority, and were associated with new ventricular arrhythmias. Only one had evidence for acute myocarditis (in the presence of symptoms and elevated biomarkers). Our data support the efficacy of the clinical assessment including exercise-ECG to raise suspicion for cardiovascular abnormalities after COVID-19. Instead, the routine use of CMR as a screening tool appears unjustified.

Systematic Cardiovascular Screening in Olympic Athletes before and after SARS-CoV-2 Infection / Maestrini, Viviana; Filomena, Domenico; Birtolo, Lucia Ilaria; Serdoz, Andrea; Fiore, Roberto; Tatangelo, Mario; Lemme, Erika; Squeo, Maria Rosaria; Mango, Ruggiero; Di Gioia, Giuseppe; Fedele, Francesco; Gualdi, Gianfranco; Spataro, Antonio; Pelliccia, Antonio; Di Giacinto, Barbara. - In: JOURNAL OF CLINICAL MEDICINE. - ISSN 2077-0383. - 11:12(2022), p. 3499. [10.3390/jcm11123499]

Systematic Cardiovascular Screening in Olympic Athletes before and after SARS-CoV-2 Infection

Maestrini, Viviana
Primo
;
Filomena, Domenico
Secondo
;
Birtolo, Lucia Ilaria;Serdoz, Andrea;Squeo, Maria Rosaria;Fedele, Francesco;Gualdi, Gianfranco;
2022

Abstract

: Conflicting results on the cardiovascular involvement after SARS-CoV-2 infection generated concerns on the safety of return-to-play (RTP) in athletes. The aim of this study was to evaluate the prevalence of cardiac involvement after COVID-19 in Olympic athletes, who had previously been screened in our pre-participation program. Since November 2020, all consecutive Olympic athletes presented to our Institute after COVID-19 prior to RTP were enrolled. The protocol was dictated by the Italian governing bodies and comprised: 12-lead ECG, blood test, cardiopulmonary exercise test (CPET), 24-h ECG monitoring, and spirometry. Cardiovascular Magnetic Resonance (CMR) was also performed. All Athletes were previously screened in our Institute as part of their periodical pre-participation evaluation. Forty-seven Italian Olympic athletes were enrolled: 83% asymptomatic, 13% mildly asymptomatic, and 4% had pneumonia. Uncommon premature ventricular contractions (PVCs) were found in 13% athletes; however, only 6% (n = 3) were newly detected. All newly diagnosed uncommon PVCs were detected by CPET. One of these three athletes had evidence for acute myocarditis by CMR, along with Troponin raise; another had pericardial effusion. No one of the remaining athletes had abnormalities detected by CMR. Cardiac abnormalities in Olympic athletes screened after COVID-19 resolution were detected in a minority, and were associated with new ventricular arrhythmias. Only one had evidence for acute myocarditis (in the presence of symptoms and elevated biomarkers). Our data support the efficacy of the clinical assessment including exercise-ECG to raise suspicion for cardiovascular abnormalities after COVID-19. Instead, the routine use of CMR as a screening tool appears unjustified.
2022
CMR; COVID-19; SARS-CoV-2; athletes; cardiovascular evaluation; return-to-play (RTP)
01 Pubblicazione su rivista::01a Articolo in rivista
Systematic Cardiovascular Screening in Olympic Athletes before and after SARS-CoV-2 Infection / Maestrini, Viviana; Filomena, Domenico; Birtolo, Lucia Ilaria; Serdoz, Andrea; Fiore, Roberto; Tatangelo, Mario; Lemme, Erika; Squeo, Maria Rosaria; Mango, Ruggiero; Di Gioia, Giuseppe; Fedele, Francesco; Gualdi, Gianfranco; Spataro, Antonio; Pelliccia, Antonio; Di Giacinto, Barbara. - In: JOURNAL OF CLINICAL MEDICINE. - ISSN 2077-0383. - 11:12(2022), p. 3499. [10.3390/jcm11123499]
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11573/1671040
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