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- Infectious—bacterial, viral, or fungal
- Toxic—medications, or exposure to heavy metals, toxins, or physical agents (shock, radiation)
- Immune-mediated—allergic reactions, heart transplant rejection, or autoantigens (which may be present in autoimmune disorders)
- Flu-like complaints, including fever, fatigue, muscle pain, vomiting, diarrhea , and weakness
- Rapid or irregular heart rate
- Chest pain
- Shortness of breath and respiratory distress
- Loss of consciousness
- Sudden, unexpected death
- Blood tests to look for specific cardiac enzymes
- Electrocardiogram (EKG)—records the heart’s activity by measuring electrical currents through the heart muscle
- Chest x-ray
- Biopsy —removal of a sample of heart tissue to test for infection
- If the cause is a bacterial infection, antibiotics are prescribed.
- If it is viral, antiviral agents will be prescribed.
- Immunosuppressive therapy may be used if myocarditis is due to an autoimmune disorder such as lupus or scleroderma.
- Practice good hygiene to avoid the spread of infection. For example, wash your hands regularly.
- Always use latex condoms during sexual activity.
- Have sex with only one partner, who has sex only with you.
- Do not use illegal drugs.
American Heart Association http://www.heart.org
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov
Canadian Cardiovascular Society http://www.ccs.ca
Health Canada http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca
Drory Y, Turetz Y, et al. Sudden unexpected death in persons less than 40 years of age. Am J Cardiol. 1991;68:1388-1392.
Felker GM, Thompson R, et al. Underlying causes and long-term survival in patients with initially unexplained cardiomyopathy. N Engl J Med. 2000;342:1077-1084.
Brady WJ, Ferguson JD, et al. Myocarditis: Emergency department recognition and management. Emergency Medicine Clinics of North America. 2004;22(4):865-885.
Braunwald E, Zipes DP, et al. Heart Disease: A Textbook of Cardiovascular Disease. 6th ed. Philadelphia, PA: WB Saunders Company; 2001.
Cohen J, et al. Infectious Diseases. 2nd ed. Edinburgh, Scotland: Elsevier; 2004.
Feldman AM, McNamara D. Myocarditis. N Engl J Med. 2000;343(19):1388-1398.
Mandell GL, Bennett JE, et al. Principles and Practice of Infectious Diseases. 6th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Churchill Livingstone; 2005.
Marx JA. Rosen’s Emergency Medicine: Concepts and Clinical Practice. 5th ed. St. Louis, MO: Mosby, Inc. 2002.
Myocarditis. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated March 6, 2013. Accessed December 30, 2014.
Understand your risk of heart failure. American Heart Association website. Available at: http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/HeartFailure/UnderstandYourRiskforHeartFailure/Understand-Your-Risk-for-Heart-Failure%5FUCM%5F002046%5FArticle.jsp. Updated October 24, 2014. Accessed December 30, 2014.
- Reviewer: Michael J. Fucci, DO
- Review Date: 12/2014 -
- Update Date: 12/20/2014 -