Myocarditis -- Adult
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- 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
- Electrocardiogram (ECG) —a test that records the heart’s activity by measuring electrical currents through the heart muscle.
- Chest x-ray —a test that uses radiation to take pictures of structures inside the body.
- Cardiac enzyme blood test—in some cases certain enzymes are elevated.
- Echocardiogram —a test that uses high-frequency sound waves (ultrasound) to examine the size, shape, and motion of the heart.
- Biopsy —removal of a sample of heart tissue to test for infection.
- Cardiovascular magnetic resonance—the use of magnetic waves to take pictures of structures inside the body.
- 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, Hiss, Y, et al. Sudden unexpected death in persons less than 40 years of age. Am J Cardiol. 1991;68:1388.
Felker, GM, Thompson, R, Hare, J, et al. Underlying causes and long-term survival in patients with initially unexplained cardiomyopathy. N Engl J Med. 2000;342:1077.
Brady WJ, Ferguson JD, Ullman EA, Perron AD. Myocarditis: emergency department recognition and management. Emergency Medicine Clinics of North America . 2004;22(4):865-885.
Braunwald E, Zipes DP, Libby P, eds. Heart Disease: A Textbook of Cardiovascular Disease . 6th ed. Philadelphia, PA: WB Saunders Company; 2001.
Cohen J, et al. eds. 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, Dolin R. Principles and Practice of Infectious Diseases . 6th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Churchill Livingstone; 2005.
Marx JA, ed. Rosen’s Emergency Medicine: Concepts and Clinical Practice . 5th ed. St. Louis, MO: Mosby, Inc. 2002.
Myocardim and myocarditis. American Heart Association website. Available at: http://www.americanheart.org/presenter.jhtml?identifier=4729 . Accessed August 4, 2005.
- Reviewer: Michael J. Fucci, DO
- Review Date: 12/2013 -
- Update Date: 01/14/2014 -
This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.
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