Heart scarring was detected more than one year after COVID-19 vaccination in some people who suffered myocarditis following receipt of a shot, researchers reported in new studies.

A third of 60 patients with follow-up cardiac imaging done more than 12 months after their myocarditis diagnosis had persistent late gadolinium enhancement (LGE), which is, in the majority of cases, reflective of heart scarring, Australian researchers reported in a preprint of a new study, published on March 22.

Myocarditis is a form of heart inflammation.

The median time from receipt of a vaccine to follow-up imaging was 548 days, with the longest interval being 603 days.

“We found that the incidence of persistent myocardial fibrosis is high, seen in almost a third of patients at >12 months post diagnosis, which could have implications for the management and prognosis of this predominantly young cohort,” the researchers wrote.

“The long-term clinical implications of LGE in this condition are as yet unknown, but LGE has been demonstrated to confer worse prognosis in non-COVID-19 vaccine-associated myocarditis, especially if it persists beyond six months,” they added later, pointing to several previous papers.

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