Cardiovascular Magnetic Resonance for Patients With COVID-19

JACC Cardiovasc Imaging. 2022 Apr;15(4):685-699. doi: 10.1016/j.jcmg.2021.08.021. Epub 2021 Oct 13.


COVID-19 is associated with myocardial injury caused by ischemia, inflammation, or myocarditis. Cardiovascular magnetic resonance (CMR) is the noninvasive reference standard for cardiac function, structure, and tissue composition. CMR is a potentially valuable diagnostic tool in patients with COVID-19 presenting with myocardial injury and evidence of cardiac dysfunction. Although COVID-19-related myocarditis is likely infrequent, COVID-19-related cardiovascular histopathology findings have been reported in up to 48% of patients, raising the concern for long-term myocardial injury. Studies to date report CMR abnormalities in 26% to 60% of hospitalized patients who have recovered from COVID-19, including functional impairment, myocardial tissue abnormalities, late gadolinium enhancement, or pericardial abnormalities. In athletes post-COVID-19, CMR has detected myocarditis-like abnormalities. In children, multisystem inflammatory syndrome may occur 2 to 6 weeks after infection; associated myocarditis and coronary artery aneurysms are evaluable by CMR. At this time, our understanding of COVID-19-related cardiovascular involvement is incomplete, and multiple studies are planned to evaluate patients with COVID-19 using CMR. In this review, we summarize existing studies of CMR for patients with COVID-19 and present ongoing research. We also provide recommendations for clinical use of CMR for patients with acute symptoms or who are recovering from COVID-19.

Keywords: COVID-19; SARS-CoV-2; cardiovascular magnetic resonance; ischemia; multisystem inflammatory syndrome; myocardial injury; myocarditis.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • COVID-19* / complications
  • Child
  • Contrast Media
  • Gadolinium
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / adverse effects
  • Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy / adverse effects
  • Myocarditis* / etiology
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • Systemic Inflammatory Response Syndrome


  • Contrast Media
  • Gadolinium

Supplementary concepts

  • pediatric multisystem inflammatory disease, COVID-19 related