Clinically Suspected Myocarditis Temporally Related to COVID-19 Vaccination in Adolescents and Young Adults: Suspected Myocarditis After COVID-19 Vaccination

Dongngan T. Truong, Audrey Dionne, Juan Carlos Muniz, Kimberly E. McHugh, Michael A. Portman, Linda M. Lambert, Deepika Thacker, Matthew D. Elias, Jennifer S. Li, Olga H. Toro-Salazar, Brett R. Anderson, Andrew M. Atz, C. Monique Bohun, M. Jay Campbell, Maryanne Chrisant, Laura D'Addese, Kirsten B. Dummer, Daniel Forsha, Lowell H. Frank, Olivia H. FroschSarah K. Gelehrter, Therese M. Giglia, Camden Hebson, Supriya S. Jain, Pace Johnston, Anita Krishnan, Kristin C. Lombardi, Brian W. McCrindle, Elizabeth C. Mitchell, Koichi Miyata, Trent Mizzi, Robert M. Parker, Jyoti K. Patel, Christina Ronai, Arash A. Sabati, Jenna Schauer, S. Kristen Sexson Tejtel, J. Ryan Shea, Lara S. Shekerdemian, Shubhika Srivastava, Jodie K. Votava-Smith, Sarah White, Jane W. Newburger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

81 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND: Understanding the clinical course and short-term outcomes of suspected myocarditis after the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccination has important public health implications in the decision to vaccinate youth. METHODS: We retrospectively collected data on patients <21 years old presenting before July 4, 2021, with suspected myocarditis within 30 days of COVID-19 vaccination. Lake Louise criteria were used for cardiac MRI findings. Myocarditis cases were classified as confirmed or probable on the basis of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention definitions. RESULTS: We report on 139 adolescents and young adults with 140 episodes of suspected myocarditis (49 confirmed, 91 probable) at 26 centers. Most patients were male (n=126, 90.6%) and White (n=92, 66.2%); 29 (20.9%) were Hispanic; and the median age was 15.8 years (range, 12.1-20.3; interquartile range [IQR], 14.5-17.0). Suspected myocarditis occurred in 136 patients (97.8%) after the mRNA vaccine, with 131 (94.2%) after the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine; 128 (91.4%) occurred after the second dose. Symptoms started at a median of 2 days (range, 0-22; IQR, 1-3) after vaccination. The most common symptom was chest pain (99.3%). Patients were treated with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (81.3%), intravenous immunoglobulin (21.6%), glucocorticoids (21.6%), colchicine (7.9%), or no anti-inflammatory therapies (8.6%). Twenty-six patients (18.7%) were in the intensive care unit, 2 were treated with inotropic/vasoactive support, and none required extracorporeal membrane oxygenation or died. Median hospital stay was 2 days (range, 0-10; IQR, 2-3). All patients had elevated troponin I (n=111, 8.12 ng/mL; IQR, 3.50-15.90) or T (n=28, 0.61 ng/mL; IQR, 0.25-1.30); 69.8% had abnormal ECGs and arrhythmias (7 with nonsustained ventricular tachycardia); and 18.7% had left ventricular ejection fraction <55% on echocardiogram. Of 97 patients who underwent cardiac MRI at a median 5 days (range, 0-88; IQR, 3-17) from symptom onset, 75 (77.3%) had abnormal findings: 74 (76.3%) had late gadolinium enhancement, 54 (55.7%) had myocardial edema, and 49 (50.5%) met Lake Louise criteria. Among 26 patients with left ventricular ejection fraction <55% on echocardiogram, all with follow-up had normalized function (n=25). CONCLUSIONS: Most cases of suspected COVID-19 vaccine myocarditis occurring in persons <21 years have a mild clinical course with rapid resolution of symptoms. Abnormal findings on cardiac MRI were frequent. Future studies should evaluate risk factors, mechanisms, and long-term outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)345-356
Number of pages12
Issue number5
StatePublished - Feb 1 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • COVID-19 vaccines
  • adolescent
  • myocarditis
  • young adult

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)


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