Update on COVID-19 Myocarditis

Medicina (Kaunas). 2020 Dec 9;56(12):678. doi: 10.3390/medicina56120678.


Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) gained worldwide attention at the end of 2019 when it was identified to cause severe respiratory distress syndrome. While it primarily affects the respiratory system, we now have evidence that it affects multiple organ systems in the human body. Cardiac manifestations may include myocarditis, life threatening arrhythmias, acute coronary syndrome, systolic heart failure, and cardiogenic shock. Myocarditis is increasingly recognized as a complication of Coronavirus-19 (COVID-19) and may result from direct viral injury or from exaggerated host immune response. The diagnosis is established similar to other etiologies, and is based on detailed history, clinical exam, laboratory findings and non-invasive imaging studies. When available, cardiac MRI is the preferred imaging modality. Endomyocardial biopsy may be performed if the diagnosis remains uncertain. Current management is mainly supportive with the potential addition of interventions recommended for severe COVID-19 disease, such as remdesivir, steroids, and convalescent plasma. In the setting of cardiogenic shock and refractory, life-threatening arrhythmias that persist despite medical therapy, advanced mechanical circulatory support devices should be considered. Ultimately, early recognition and aggressive intervention are key factors in reducing morbidity and mortality. Our management strategy is expected to evolve further as we learn more about COVID-19 disease and the associated cardiac complications.

Keywords: COVID-19; cardiogenic shock; coronavirus; heart failure; myocarditis.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adenosine Monophosphate / analogs & derivatives
  • Adenosine Monophosphate / therapeutic use
  • Alanine / analogs & derivatives
  • Alanine / therapeutic use
  • Antiviral Agents / therapeutic use
  • COVID-19 / complications*
  • COVID-19 / therapy*
  • COVID-19 / virology
  • COVID-19 Drug Treatment*
  • COVID-19 Serotherapy
  • Humans
  • Immunization, Passive
  • Myocarditis / mortality
  • Myocarditis / therapy
  • Myocarditis / virology*
  • SARS-CoV-2*
  • Steroids / therapeutic use


  • Antiviral Agents
  • Steroids
  • remdesivir
  • Adenosine Monophosphate
  • Alanine