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The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness 2021 August;61(8):1137-43

DOI: 10.23736/S0022-4707.21.12764-1

Copyright © 2021 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English

The role of cardiovascular magnetic resonance in the screening before the return-to-play of elite athletes after COVID-19: utility o futility?

Domenico FILOMENA 1, 2, Lucia I. BIRTOLO 1, 2, Marco PENZA 2, 3, Gianfranco GUALDI 2, Barbara DI GIACINTO 2, Viviana MAESTRINI 1, 2

1 Department of Clinical, Internal, Anesthesiological and Cardiovascular Sciences, Sapienza University, Rome, Italy; 2 Institute of Sport Medicine, Sport and Health, National Italian Olympic Committee, Rome, Italy; 3 Department of Medical Biotechnology and Translational Medicine, University of Milan, Milan, Italy



Recent reports based on cardiovascular magnetic resonance (CMR) showed a wide range of prevalence of inflammatory heart diseases in COVID-19 convalescent athletes ranging from 0.4 up to 15%. These observations had an important impact in the field of sport cardiology opening an intense debate around the best possible screening strategy before the return-to-play. The diagnostic yield of CMR for detecting acute inflammatory disease is undebatable. However, the opportunity to use it in the screening protocol after COVID-19 has been questioned. Current evidence does not seem to support the routine use of CMR and the prescription of CMR should be based upon clinical indication.


KEY WORDS: Magnetic resonance imaging, interventional; Cardiovascular system; Athletes

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