For athletes that have contracted COVID-19, recovering from it is the biggest concern. Many athletes return to training, thinking they are fully healthy. Unfortunately, this is not the case for quite a number of the athletes out there. Cardiac MRI scans have shown that a small handful of athletes have contracted another problem that can seriously jeopardize their well-being and even put their life at risk.
In this article, we will delve deeper into this topic.
Myocarditis in athletes who have recently recovered from COVID-19
According to the cardiac MRI scans of athletes who have recovered from the virus, approximately 15 percent have been shown to have myocarditis. Myocarditis is the inflammation of the heart muscle that can affect its electrical system. This can lead to issues with the heart’s ability to pump blood throughout the body, even leading to arrhythmias or abnormalities of heart rhythm.
This is a massive concern for athletes simply because most sudden cardiac deaths in athletes are connected to myocarditis. Fortunately, cardiac MRI scans can catch these problems to let athletes know when they can safely return to play. In other words, cardiac MRI scans can identify these high-risk factors that put athletes in danger.
That being said, how does the heart get affected by COVID-19 in the first place? Isn’t it supposed to be a virus that affects the respiratory system? Research has shown that the virus also impacts the heart in various ways in over 70 percent of patients. In that number, 60 percent of patients had some form of myocardial inflammation.
Despite all the research and findings so far, more studies are required regarding the connection between COVID-19 and myocarditis, especially when it comes to athletic performance. Regardless, it is agreed upon that the cardiac MRI is still vital as it can help doctors assess the risk for athletes.
This can enable both doctors and athletes to develop a guideline that promotes safety during sports, minimizing the risk that myocarditis presents while maximizing the athlete’s performance.
It is not just athletes who need to have this risk assessed, but also the average person. Any person may risk heart issues should they attempt to exercise without knowing they have myocarditis. The long-term effects of the virus are yet to be confirmed conclusively by studies and research, but the numbers are alarming enough to be cause for concern.
For healthcare providers, cardiac MRI scans can help athletes who have recovered from COVID-19. Myocarditis is a severe condition that can jeopardize an athlete’s life—one that must be caught before it is too late.
That being said, with the possibility of carrying out more scans than before the pandemic, maintaining MRI scanners has become even more essential in healthcare facilities. Ensuring the MRI scanners are well maintained can help health firms provide far better services and collect accurate data to help doctors come up with the appropriate solutions to various problems.
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