Myocarditis and pericarditis are inflammatory conditions of the heart that present a range of symptoms, often including chest pain, fatigue, breathlessness and palpitations that may be irregular due to cardiac rhythm disturbances. Myocarditis has been proposed to account for a fraction of cardiac injury among patients infected with SARS-CoV-2 and associated systemic inflammation; and it might be one of the reasons for the high mortality seen in COVID-19 patients. Furthermore, following vaccination with mRNA COVID-19 vaccines (ie, Comirnaty and Spikevax), myocarditis and pericarditis can develop within a few days of vaccination, particularly following the second dose. Based on recent reviewed data, the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the European Medicines Agency (EMA) have determined that the risk for both of these conditions is overall 'very rare' (∼1 in 10 000 vaccinated people may be clinically affected), with the highest risk among younger males. Both EMA and FDA agree that the benefits of all authorised COVID-19 vaccines continue to outweigh their risks, given the threat of serious COVID-19 illness and related complications. Since myocarditis has a very wide clinical spectrum, ranging from mild to fulminant life-threatening disease, we present in this review a sum of the latest findings and considerations for the proper diagnosis and management of affected patients.
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