Myocarditis (inflammation of heart muscle)

Chest | Cardiology | Myocarditis (inflammation of heart muscle) (Disease)


Myocarditis is inflammation of heart muscle. Myocarditis can be mild and cause virtually no noticeable symptoms. The most frequent symptom of myocarditis is pain in the chest. When myocarditis is more serious, it leads to weakening of the heart muscle. Myocarditis can then cause heart failure (with symptoms of shortness of breath, fatigue, fluid accumulation in the lungs, etc. ) as well as heart rhythm irregularities from inflammation and/or scarring of the electrical system of the heart.

Causes and Risk factors

Myocarditis can be caused by a variety of infections and conditions such as viruses, sarcoidosis, and immune diseases (such as systemic lupus, etc. ), pregnancy, and others. The most common cause of myocarditis is infection of the heart muscle by a virus. The virus invades the heart muscle to cause local inflammation. After the initial infection subsides, the bodys immune system continues to inflict inflammatory damage to the heart muscle. This immune response actually prolongs the myocarditis.

Diagnosis and Treatment

In many cases myocarditis improves, either on its own or with treatment, leading to a complete recovery. Myocarditis treatment focuses on treating the underlying cause. In mild cases, the doctor may tell to rest and may prescribe medications to help the body fight off the infection causing myocarditis while the heart recovers. If bacteria are causing the infection, the doctor will prescribe antibiotics. Although antiviral medications are available, they havent proven effective in the treatment of most cases of myocarditis. ...