Two members of the Virginia Heart team have shared their expertise and the results of their clinical research into the cardiac effects of the COVID-19 vaccine with their peers across the country—and around the globe.
Ibrahim M. Saeed, M.D., FACC, and Alireza Maghsoudi, M.D., FACC, recently teamed with INOVA and UT-Southwestern in co-authoring a letter to the Journal of the American College of Cardiology (JACC) that recounts their experience with patients who were hospitalized for myocarditis after receiving the COVID-19 vaccination.
Myocarditis is inflammation of the heart muscle. In 2021, Drs. Saeed and Maghsoudi were amongst the first internationally to identify cases of myocarditis after the COVID-19 vaccine. It was predominantly noted in young men who received the vaccine. It was felt at the time that although it was increasingly more recognized side effect of the vaccine, the incidence of this happening was far less than myocarditis from the actual COVID-19 virus itself.
What was not known is how are these patients doing? What was the aftermath of having had myocarditis after the COVID-19 vaccine? After conferring with their peers in Texas who agreed to share their data, Drs. Saeed and Maghsoudi tracked the progress of their patients for several months. Combined data from the Virginia and Texas study groups revealed that after six months, all the patients showed improvement or resolution of their myocarditis. There was no evidence of myocardial dysfunction or continued myocardial damage. There were also no subsequent adverse cardiac events. And they continued to do well.
“Like so many things related to COVID-19, there are still several questions to be studied regarding how to treat and manage patients presenting with myocarditis after receiving the COVID-19 vaccine,” Dr. Saeed said. “But given the risk of serious illness or death associated with becoming infected with COVID-19, we concluded that the risks of being unvaccinated outweigh the risk of vaccine-associated myocarditis.”
The Journal of the American College of Cardiology is the field’s leading professional journal and covers the entire field of cardiovascular medicine. “We are pleased to share our findings with our peers,” said Dr. Maghsoudi. “There is still a lot of work to do in studying the long-term effects of the COVID-19 vaccines, but as we continue to learn more about the impact of COVID-19 and its vaccines on the heart and vascular system, we are committed to sharing what we learn so that patients everywhere can benefit from fact-based, clinical data.”
Click here to read the full JACC letter.