by Amy Scholten, MPH
Myocarditis is an inflammation of the heart’s wall. It is rare and can be very serious.
The cause of myocarditis is not always known. Causes that are known are:
There are no known risk factors.
Myocarditis may not cause symptoms. When symptoms happen, they may be:
Myocarditis can lead to heart failure.
It can be hard to diagnosis myocarditis. There is no specific test for it. Other causes of heart problems must be ruled out first.
The doctor will ask about symptoms and past health. A physical exam will be done. Tests may include:
Images of the heart may be taken with:
The first line of treatment is support care. The goal is to manage symptoms and slow or prevent more damage. Care will often require a hospital stay.
When possible, the cause will be treated. For example:
If heart failure is present, it may be treated with:
It is not possible to prevent all myocarditis. To lower the risk of infection that could lead to myocarditis:
For those with HIV, special antiviral therapy may help lower the risk of myocarditis.
American Heart Association
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute
Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada
Myocarditis. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/condition/myocarditis . Accessed September 6, 2021.
Myocarditis. Health—Johns Hopkins Medicine wesbite. Available at: https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/conditions-and-diseases/myocarditis. Accessed September 6, 2021.
Tschöpe C, Ammirati E, et al. Myocarditis and inflammatory cardiomyopathy: current evidence and future directions. Nat Rev Cardiol. 2021;18(3):169-193.
Understand your risk for heart failure. American Heart Association website. Available at: https://www.heart.org/en/health-topics/heart-failure/causes-and-risks-for-heart-failure/understand-your-risk-for-heart-failure#.WiAtp1WnFQI. Accessed September 6, 2021.
Last reviewed July 2021 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Nicole Meregian, PA
Last Updated: 9/6/2021