What is myocarditis?

Greenville Health System
Administration
Myocarditis is a condition that describes inflammation of the heart. Myocarditis may be caused viral or bacterial infection. It may also result from certain medications administered during cancer treatment that damage the heart muscle. The condition may also result from certain medications (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) that lead to fluid retention, which places strain on the heart. Myocarditis is often associated with left-sided heart failure.
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SecondsCount.org
Administration
Myocarditis is inflammation of the heart muscle. It is most often caused by a virus, but can also be caused by bacteria, a fungus, or even certain chemicals. In response to the infection, the body turns against its own heart muscle. It is not known why the viral or other infections affect the hearts of some people but not of most others. Some cases of myocarditis are very mild, and patients recover on their own without the need for any treatment. Other cases can be much more serious and sometimes life threatening. 
Myocarditis is an inflammation of the heart muscle, usually resulting from a systemic infection or inflammatory disease. Viruses are the most common cause of this disorder; however, other potential causes include bacteria, rickettsiae, parasites, adverse drug reactions, or other complicating diseases. This infection may cause very rapid dysfunction of the heart, necessitating mechanical support for the failing heart.
Susie Whitworth
Nursing
Myocarditis is an inflammation of the heart muscle and inflammation of the heart's conduction system without evidence of a heart attack. Myocarditis occurs frequently in people who have been diagnosed with HIV.
Johns Hopkins Medicine
Administration

Myocarditis is an inflammation of the heart muscle (myocardium), usually due to a viral infection. In many cases, myocarditis produces no noticeable symptoms, although severe cases may cause serious disturbances of the heartbeat (cardiac arrhythmia), weakness of the heart muscle (cardiomyopathy), heart failure or sudden cardiac arrest.

While in most instances the inflammation subsides on its own without treatment and without causing permanent damage, more severe cases or those that become chronic may require hospitalization and medical treatment.

Myocarditis can affect people of all ages. Because it is often asymptomatic (does not display symptoms), it may only be diagnosed after someone dies unexpectedly during or after strenuous exercise.

A person with myocarditis may experience:

  • Fatigue
  • Shortness of breath
  • Heart palpitations or rapid heartbeat.
  • Fever
  • Chest pain
  • Congestive heart failure.

Continue Learning about Heart and Circulatory System

Heart and Circulatory System

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.