Myocarditis in the Athlete: A Focus on COVID-19 Sequelae

Clin Sports Med. 2022 Jul;41(3):455-472. doi: 10.1016/j.csm.2022.02.007. Epub 2022 Feb 17.


Myocarditis is a leading cause of sudden death in athletes. Early data demonstrating increased prevalence of cardiac injury in hospitalized patients with COVID-19 raised concerns for athletes recovered from COVID-19 and the possibility of underlying myocarditis. However, subsequent large registries have provided reassuring data affirming low prevalence of myocarditis in athletes convalesced from COVID-19. Although the clinical significance of subclinical myocarditis detected by cardiac MRI remains uncertain, clinical outcomes have not demonstrated an increase in acute cardiac events in athletes throughout the pandemic. Future directions include defining mechanisms underlying "long-haul" COVID-19 and the potential impact of new viral variants.

Keywords: Athletes; COVID-19; Cardiac magnetic resonance imaging; Myocarditis; SARS-CoV-2.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Athletes
  • COVID-19*
  • Humans
  • Myocarditis* / diagnosis
  • Myocarditis* / epidemiology
  • Myocarditis* / etiology
  • Pandemics