In this multicenter retrospective study we aimed to evaluate the outcome of cardiac involvement in children affected by multisystem inflammatory syndrome (MIS-C), assessed through cardiac magnetic resonance (CMR). Children referring to three Italian tertiary pediatric centers between February 2020 and November 2021 with a diagnosis of MIS-C, who underwent CMR during a follow-up visit, were enrolled. Demographic, clinical, laboratory, treatment, and outcome data were collected. Twenty MIS-C patients (aged 9–17, median 12 years) were included in the study. Heart involvement at onset was testified by hypotension/shock (55%), laboratory evidence of myocardial involvement (100%), reduced LV ejection fraction (EF) on echocardiography (83%), and/or need for inotrope agents (40%); they all presented good clinical, laboratory, and echocardiographic response to treatment. CMR was performed after a median interval of 3 months from discharge. Pericardial effusion and myocardial edema were found in 5% of patients. Mild residual left ventricular (LV) dysfunction was found in 20% of patients, all showing normal echocardiographic LVEF at discharge. Minimal myocardial scars were found in 25% by late gadolinium enhancement (LGE). One patient was evaluated at two consecutive time points, showing partial resolution of a myocardial scar after 7 months from its first finding.
Conclusion: Despite the severity of heart involvement in the acute MIS-C phase, the mid-term cardiac outcome is good. Direct cardiac tissue viral invasion may be involved in MIS-C pathogenesis.
What is Known:
• Heart involvement is common in MIS-C, but conflicting findings have been shown regarding cardiac outcome when assessed through cardiac MRI.
What is New:
• Midterm cardiac MRI shows mild abnormalities in patients recovered from MIS-C with any grade of severity of cardiac involvement at presentation.