Pacemaker after Covid

I had Covid (Omicron) in January 22. Started fainting two weeks later. Ended up with a complete AV block and pacemaker a few months later. My doctor wants to do a possibly risky MRI to test for an uncommon disease Sarcoid. I don't understand why he doesn't think it was caused by Covid. I see a lot of research/reports about Covid being a cause. 


Trust & Wait!

by Penguin - 2023-01-23 14:49:39

Oh dear, that all sounds really quite frightening and sudden for you.

As you will know Doctors don't make diagnoses or suggest cause without evidence, and sensibly so! 

Sounds to me like your doctor has organised an investigative MRI  for you based on possible links, your symptoms or perhaps to allay concerns.  That sounds more like a well rounded approach than denial, although I wasn't there and didn't hear your conversation with him. 

A quick google brought this up about Sarcoidosis.  

Store it away and look at it if you need to. Don't bother yet. It's better to get a diagnosis first.  Covid is mentioned but I haven't read it well enough to comment. 

I do empathise with how difficult it is to come to terms with a life changing condition (AVB and a pacemaker) without answers as to why it happened to you. A lot of people on here have been in that situation and it definitely isn't easy. All I can say is deep breaths, don't panic and take it one step at a time. 

In terms of the MRI - new pacemakers implanted in 2022 with new leads do not infer an MRI risk as far as I know. The marketing suggests that they are MRI compatible and manufacturers wouldn't risk a marketing strategy which promotes compatibility if it is false. 

Take care and let us know what happens once you have your results.  If you need further support in the meantime keep posting. 




Does it really matter?

by Lavender - 2023-01-23 15:35:14

Who cares if it was covid that led you here? Can't go back-only forward. Going forward, if your doctor thinks you have something else going on-go find out. 

Only hospitals equipped to do pacemaker safe MRIs will see you anyway. As was said, many new models are fine with MRI. 

Sarcoid symptoms include:

tender and swollen glands in the face, neck, armpits or groin.

tiredness and a general feeling of being unwell.

painful joints.

red or sore eyes.

an abnormal heart rhythm (arrhythmia)

a blocked or stuffy nose.

pain in the bones.

kidney stones

Signs and symptoms related to cardiac sarcoidosis may include:

Chest pain

Shortness of breath (dyspnea)

Fainting (syncope)


Irregular heartbeats (arrhythmias)

Rapid or fluttering heart beat (palpitations)

Swelling caused by excess fluid (edema)

He could also do a tissue biopsy. Maybe ask him if there are other tests he could try first if you're not wanting the MRI. 

Coincidences can happen !

by IAN MC - 2023-01-23 15:47:24

Your AV block MAY have been caused by Covid,  On the other hand, it may not. 

I think you are lucky in having a doctor who is willing to go the extra mile to find the true cause.  I assume you have asked him  why he is suspecting sarcoidosis MAY be the cause in your case.

There is published evidence which suggests that sarcoidosis-induced AV block can sometimes be totally reversible with appropriate drug therapy  ( i.e. a pacemaker would no longer be needed !  ) so I would welcome the sarcoidosis test.

I agree with Penguin and Lavender that risks of having an MRI scan with  a modern pacemaker are virtually non-existent.  Like you, I have a Medtronic P.M. and have had 3 MRI scans in the last couple of years... all uneventful  !

Best  of luck


Thank you

by Lisa Michelle - 2023-01-23 16:21:25

I appreciate all of your insights, thank you.

Updated info

by Lisa Michelle - 2023-01-23 17:01:29

Thanks, I appreciate all the support. I updated my profile. I am from Michigan but live in Israel.


by new to pace.... - 2023-01-23 17:07:07

thank you for updating your profile.

new to pace

Smart doctor

by PacedNRunning - 2023-01-25 01:51:57

Whenever someone going is diagnosed with heart block. They should look for reversible causes. One of which is sarcoidosis. It's good he's not just blaming it on Covid and that it's because most that are diagnosed with sarcoidosis are diagnosed during autopsy. You are ar risk for life threatening arrhythmias. I got ruled out for sarcoidosis when I developed unexplained heart block at 46. Be glad you have a good doctor who is willing to do his due diligence and not just accepting Covid as a reason. It's normal To question and ask. So kudos for doing that. With Covid though I feel many wil be under diagnosed especially lazy doctors. I was happy to get all The testing. If I had developed heart block after Covid,

im sure it would have been blamed on that at 46. 

Sarcoid and Covid

by BarryMcC - 2023-03-04 09:16:00

Hopefully you've had that MRI and have a diagnosis.

i was actually diagnosed with Sarcoid post covid, which seemed to just tip my heart over the threshold for my watch to pick up the AV block; so your doc is spot on with his theory. 


by Lisa Michelle - 2023-03-04 13:52:09

Thank you for posting. It's so helpful to hear everyone's experiences and insights. I am scheduling an MRI. 

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You play MP3 files on your pacer.

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