COVID-19 Vaccination-related Myocarditis: A Korean Nationwide Study

Jae Yeong Cho et al.

A comprehensive nationwide study on the incidence and outcomes of COVID-19 vaccination-related myocarditis (VRM) is in need.

Among 44 276 704 individuals with at least 1 dose of COVID-19 vaccination, the incidence and clinical courses of VRM case confirmed by the Expert Adjudication Committee of the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency were analyzed.

COVID-19 VRM was confirmed in 480 cases (1.08 cases per 100 000 persons). Vaccination-related myocarditis incidence was significantly higher in men than in women (1.35 vs. 0.82 per 100 000 persons, < 0.001) and in mRNA vaccines than in other vaccines (1.46 vs. 0.14 per 100 000 persons, < 0.001). Vaccination-related myocarditis incidence was highest in males between the ages of 12 and 17 years (5.29 cases per 100 000 persons) and lowest in females over 70 years (0.16 cases per 100 000 persons). Severe VRM was identified in 95 cases (19.8% of total VRM, 0.22 per 100 000 vaccinated persons), 85 intensive care unit admission (17.7%), 36 fulminant myocarditis (7.5%), 21 extracorporeal membrane oxygenation therapy (4.4%), 21 deaths (4.4%), and 1 heart transplantation (0.2%). Eight out of 21 deaths were sudden cardiac death (SCD) attributable to VRM proved by an autopsy, and all cases of SCD attributable to VRM were aged under 45 years and received mRNA vaccines.

Although COVID-19 VRM was rare and showed relatively favorable clinical courses, severe VRM was found in 19.8% of all VRM cases. Moreover, SCD should be closely monitored as a potentially fatal complication of COVID-19 vaccination.

Image: HakanGERMAN @ Unsplash

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