ST-elevation in an adolescent with COVID-19: Myopericarditis or myocardial infarction?

Myocardial infarctions (MI) have been reported in adults with COVID-19. Although MIs are rare in children with COVID-19, cardiac involvement is still possible. In this case report, we present an adolescent with recent COVID-19 infection who presented with an ECG initially suggestive of myocardial infarction (MI). We describe how to differentiate between myocardial infarctions and myopericarditis. A 15-year-old boy, with a history of COVID-19 infection a month prior, presented to the emergency department with fever, abdominal pain, diarrhea, and chest pain. On ECG, he was found to have focal ST-segment elevations in V3 through V6. Given the immediate concern for MI, an emergent echocardiogram was done and showed normal left ventricular systolic function with no regional dyskinesia and normal coronary artery diameters. A repeat ECG showed diffuse ST elevations in the inferior leads and T-wave inversions on V5 and V6, confirming the diagnosis of myopericarditis. In conclusion, multisystem-inflammatory syndrome in children associated with COVID-19 (MIS-C) is a new entity describing a post-infectious inflammatory response in children with prior COVID-19 exposure. Cardiac involvement can include myopericarditis. Initial ECGs may show ST-changes suggestive of MI. However, serial ECGs and echocardiograms can differentiate between MI and myocarditis/myopericarditis. Even with COVID-19, MIs are extremely rare in children, and it is important to be aware of MIS-C and its cardiac complications.

as reported in: Le CK, Nguyen MB, Vo AT. Am J Emerg Med. 2021 Aug doi: S0735-6757(21)00708-7.