19:25 PM

Unclear when and which athletes can return to competition after COVID-19

Reuters Health discusses an online report published in JAMA Cardiology addressing the most common questions regarding the effects of COVID-19 on the athletic heart.

HSS sports medicine physician Brett G. Toresdahl, MD, who was not involved in the development of the report, provided commentary on return to play (RTP) protocols after COVID-19, noting, "Over the past few months, there have been a number of published iterations of return to play protocols for athletes with COVID-19. With each month, more is known about how COVID-19 affects athletes and it gets reflected in these protocols."

Dr. Toresdahl continued, "After the recent study that showed signs of myocarditis in college football players who were asymptomatic, there was concern that advanced cardiac imaging would potentially be needed in most cases of COVID-19 in athletes.” He added, “Thankfully, these recommendations provided clarity for when cardiac MRI is indicated and when athletes can reasonably and safely be cleared to play."

The new report includes three detailed RTP algorithms for athletes in competitive high school sports, recreational masters athletes, and adult athletes in competitive sports.

"While primary care providers will be able to manage the return to play in the majority of cases with the help of these algorithms, involving a cardiologist and obtained advanced cardiac imaging will be needed in some cases," said Dr. Toresdahl. "Unfortunately, not all communities have easy access to these services, and this needs to be considered when school districts and athletic leagues plan for resuming sports during the COVID-19 pandemic."

Read the full article at MDalert.com. This article originally appeared on Reuters Health.