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New study looks at rare heart condition in some Big Ten athletes linked to COVID-19

A newstudy looks at diagnosing heart damage linked to the COVID-19 in Big Ten athletes.

Doctors examined 1,600 Big Ten college athletes who caught COVID during the pandemic and found 37 had developed a rare heart condition (Myocarditis), where a viral infection causes swelling of the heart.

Myocarditis is a leading cause of sudden death in competitive athletes. 

Researchers from 13 Big Ten schools participated in the study.  

Saurabh Rajpal is a cardiologist at Ohio State University. He says researchers have determined using cardiac magnetic resonance, or a heart MRI, is the best way to diagnose the condition.

“It is a newer technique, so we will help in refining these techniques for better diagnosis of Myocarditis. Things that were not recognized they will be better recognized and hopefully better treated,” says Rajpal.

The study appears in the Journal of the American Medical Association-Cardiology.

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Public since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.