Statement from SCMR on the Role of CMR in Patients with History of COVID-19 Infection
In view of the recent debate on various media, SCMR leadership has decided to issue the following statement:
The current clinical indications for cardiovascular imaging in the evaluation of COVID-19 complications have been summarized in a recent American College of Cardiology guidance document, to which SCMR contributed. The indications for CMR in this context include accurate assessment of chamber size and function, detection of ischemia, myocardial infarction, myocarditis and stress cardiomyopathy. Referrals for imaging tests in the setting of COVID-19 should be guided by their potential impact on patient management.
Recent small and single-center studies have suggested that CMR may detect abnormalities in asymptomatic patients who have had COVID-19 infection. This has led to a debate about the role of imaging, in particular CMR, as a screening tool. The clinical significance of these research findings remains uncertain and further long-term studies are needed to assess their impact. In accordance with the ACC guidance document and in view of the current limited evidence, SCMR does not support the routine use of any imaging tests, including CMR, in asymptomatic patients with a known history of COVID-19 infection.
Several ongoing larger and multicenter studies will provide information on the mechanisms for development of cardiovascular complications in COVID-19 patients and the best way to detect them. SCMR will continue to review the emerging evidence and, in collaboration with other societies, provide updated guidance to the community on the appropriate use of cardiovascular imaging to improve outcomes for those affected by COVID-19.