Young people recover quickly from rare myocarditis side effect of COVID-19 vaccine – Community News

Young people recover quickly from rare myocarditis side effect of COVID-19 vaccine

07 Dec. 2021 14:00 hours

Dongngan T. Truong, MD

Adapted with permission from the American Heart Association.

Most young people under the age of 21 who developed suspected COVID-19 vaccine-related heart muscle inflammation, known as myocarditis, had mild symptoms that quickly improved, according to new research published today in the flagship journal of the American Heart Association. Edition.

Myocarditis is a rare but serious condition that causes inflammation of the heart muscle. It can weaken the heart and affect the heart’s electrical system, keeping the heart pumping regularly. It is usually the result of an infection and/or inflammation caused by a virus.

Using data from 26 pediatric medical centers in the United States and Canada, researchers reviewed the medical records of patients younger than 21 who showed symptoms, lab results, or imaging findings suggestive of myocarditis within one month of receiving a COVID-19 infection. vaccination, by July 4, 2021. Cases of suspected vaccine-associated myocarditis were categorized as “probable” or “confirmed” using CDC definitions.

Of the 139 teens and young adults, ranging in age from 12 to 20, researchers identified and evaluated:

  • Most patients were Caucasian (66.2%), nine of 10 (90.6%) were male, and the median age was 15.8 years.
  • Nearly all cases (97.8%) followed an mRNA vaccine and 91.4% occurred after the second vaccine dose.
  • Symptoms started a median of 2 days after vaccine administration.
  • Chest pain was the most common symptom (99.3%); fever and dyspnea each occurred in 30.9% and 27.3% of patients, respectively.
  • About one in five patients (18.7%) was admitted to the intensive care unit, but there were no deaths. Most patients were hospitalized for two or three days.
  • More than three quarters (77.3%) of patients who received cardiac MRI showed signs of inflammation or injury to the heart muscle.
  • Nearly 18.7% had at least mildly reduced left ventricular function (squeezing the heart) at presentation, but heart function returned to normal in all who returned for follow-up.

“These data suggest that most cases of suspected COVID-19 vaccine-related myocarditis in people under the age of 21 are mild and resolve quickly,” said the study’s lead author, Dongngan T. Truong, MD, an associate professor of pediatrics in the department. cardiology at the University of Utah Health and a pediatric cardiologist at Intermountain Primary Children’s Hospital in Salt Lake City. “We were really happy to see that kind of recovery. However, we await further studies to better understand the long-term outcomes of patients who have had COVID-19 vaccination-related myocarditis. We also need to study the risk factors and mechanisms for this rare complication.”

Researchers say future studies should follow patients who have suffered longer-term vaccine-associated myocarditis, as this study only examined the immediate course of patients and lacks follow-up data. In addition, there are a number of important limitations that must be taken into account. The study design did not allow scientists to estimate the percentage of those who received the vaccine who developed this rare complication, nor did it allow a risk-benefit study. The patients included in this study were also evaluated in academic medical centers and may have been more severely ill than other community cases.

“It is important for healthcare professionals and the public to have information about early signs, symptoms and the time course of recovery from myocarditis, especially as these vaccines are becoming more widely available for children,” Truong said. “Studies to determine long-term outcomes in those who have had myocarditis after COVID-19 vaccination are also planned.”

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