Objectives: To characterize the clinical course and outcomes of children 12-18 years of age who developed probable myopericarditis after vaccination with the Pfizer-BioNTech (BNT162b2) coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccine.
Study design: A cross-sectional study of 25 children, aged 12-18 years, diagnosed with probable myopericarditis after COVID-19 mRNA vaccination as per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention criteria for myopericarditis at 8 US centers between May 10, 2021, and June 20, 2021. We retrospectively collected the following data: demographics, severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 virus detection or serologic testing, clinical manifestations, laboratory test results, imaging study results, treatment, and time to resolutions of symptoms.
Results: Most (88%) cases followed the second dose of vaccine, and chest pain (100%) was the most common presenting symptom. Patients came to medical attention a median of 2 days (range, <1-20 days) after receipt of Pfizer mRNA COVID-19 vaccination. All adolescents had an elevated plasma troponin concentration. Echocardiographic abnormalities were infrequent, and 92% showed normal cardiac function at presentation. However, cardiac magnetic resonance imaging, obtained in 16 patients (64%), revealed that 15 (94%) had late gadolinium enhancement consistent with myopericarditis. Most were treated with ibuprofen or an equivalent nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug for symptomatic relief. One patient was given a corticosteroid orally after the initial administration of ibuprofen or an nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug; 2 patients also received intravenous immune globulin. Symptom resolution was observed within 7 days in all patients.
Conclusions: Our data suggest that symptoms owing to myopericarditis after the mRNA COVID-19 vaccination tend to be mild and transient. Approximately two-thirds of patients underwent cardiac magnetic resonance imaging, which revealed evidence of myocardial inflammation despite a lack of echocardiographic abnormalities.
Keywords: mRNA COVID-19 vaccine; myocarditis; pericarditis.
Copyright © 2021. Published by Elsevier Inc.