A Case Series of Myocarditis Following Third (Booster) Dose of COVID-19 Vaccination: Magnetic Resonance Imaging Study

Front Cardiovasc Med. 2022 Mar 4:9:839090. doi: 10.3389/fcvm.2022.839090. eCollection 2022.


Background: Myocarditis has been reported following the first two doses of Pfizer-BNT162b2 messenger RNA (mRNA) COVID-19 vaccination. Administration of a third dose (booster) of the vaccine was initiated recently in Israel.

Objective: The aim of this study was to describe the characteristics of patients referred for cardiac magnetic resonance (CMR) imaging with myocarditis following the booster.

Methods: Patients referred for CMR imaging with a clinical diagnosis of myocarditis within 21 days following the booster, between July 13 and November 11, 2021, were analyzed.

Results: Overall, 4 patients were included, 3/4 (75%) were men, and the mean age was 27 ± 10 years. The time from booster administration to the onset of symptoms was 5.75 ± 4.8 days (range 2-14). Obstructive coronary artery disease was excluded in 3 of the patients (75%). CMR was performed 34 ± 15 days (range 8-47 days) following the 3rd vaccination. The mean left ventricular ejection fraction was 61 ± 7% (range 53-71%), and regional wall motion abnormalities were present in one of the patients. Global T1 was increased in one of the patients, while focal T1 values were increased in 3 of the patients. Global T2 was increased in one of the patients, while focal T2 values were increased in all the patients. Global ECV was increased in 3 of the patients, while focal ECV was increased in all the patients. Median late gadolinium enhancement (LGE) was 4 ± 3% (range 1-9%), with the inferolateral segment as the most common location (3 of the 4 patients). All the patients met the Updated Lake Louise Criteria.

Conclusions: Patient characteristics and CMR imaging findings of myocarditis following the administration of the booster vaccine are relatively mild and consistent with those observed with the first two doses. Although larger-scale prospective studies are necessary, these initial findings are somewhat reassuring.

Keywords: BNT162b2 messenger RNA (mRNA) COVID-19 vaccination; COVID-19; cardiac magnetic resonance imaging (CMR); myocarditis; third dose (booster).