Ventricular Function and Tissue Characterization By Cardiac MRI in Children Following Hospitalization for Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C): A Prospective Study.
Background Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C) is a severe life-threatening manifestation of SARS-CoV-2 infection. Acute cardiac dysfunction and resultant cardiogenic shock are common in children with MIS-C. While most children recover rapidly from acute illness, the long-term impact on the myocardium and cardiac function is unknown. Methods In this prospective study, cardiac MRI (CMR) was performed on patients <21 years of age with a history of MIS-C, 6-9 months following hospitalization. Per institutional protocol, patients with any history of LVEF<50%, persistent cardiorespiratory symptoms, or ECG abnormalities underwent clinical CMR. Research CMRs were offered to all others >10 years old. Native T1 and T2 mapping values were compared with 20 children with normal CMR examinations. Results We performed CMRs on 13 subjects at a median age of 13.6 years (interquartile range [IQR] 11.9-16.0) and a median time from hospitalization of 8.2 months (IQR 6.8-9.6). Twelve subjects displayed normal ventricular function with a median left ventricle ejection fraction (LVEF) of 57.2% (IQR 56.1-58.4) and median right ventricular (RV) EF of 53.1% (IQR 52.0-55.7). One subject had low normal EF (52%). There was normal T2 and native T1 as compared to normal controls. There was qualitatively no evidence of edema by T2 weighted imaging. One subject had late gadolinium enhancement (LGE) at the inferior insertion point and mid-ventricular inferolateral region, with normal EF, no evidence of edema or perfusion defects, and normal T1 and T2 times. When stratifying by a history of abnormal LVEF (LVEF <55%) on echocardiography, there was no difference in or parametric mapping values, though LVEF and LVEDV approached significance (p=0.06 and 0.05, respectively). Conclusions Although many children with MIS-C present acutely with cardiac dysfunction, myocardial recovery is overall excellent with minimal to no evidence of residual cardiac dysfunction or myocardial involvement. LVEF by CMR at 6-9 months among children with history of echocardiographic LV dysfunction is slightly lower, though does not meet statistical significance and is still within normal range. The long-term functional implications of this finding and the cardiac implications of MIS-C more broadly are unclear and warrant further study.