Myocarditis is an inflammation of the heart muscle, myocardium. Although, myocarditis is uncommon, it is estimated that five to 20 percent of sudden deaths in young adults are due to myocarditis. Your heart wall consists of three layers: epicardium (outer layer), myocardium (middle layer), and endocardium (inner layer).
Myocarditis is mostly due to an infection by the viruses, toxins, and physical agents. The disease can affect your heart’s ability to pump the blood and leads to irregular heart rhythm. It can affect anyone and may occur at any age.
The exact cause of myocarditis is unknown. However, many triggering factors lead to myocarditis which includes:
Other causes of myocarditis include:
In the early stages, myocarditis may not cause any noticeable symptoms. The signs and symptoms may vary in severe cases and include the following:
The signs and symptoms of viral infection include a headache, body aches, joint pain, high body temperature, a sore throat or diarrhea.
Myocarditis can be severe and leads to the complications such as heart failure, heart attack or stroke, abnormal heart rhythms, sudden death.
Your doctor starts the diagnosis by performing a thorough physical examination and checks your medical history. The doctor would order any of the following tests to confirm the diagnosis.
The treatment of the myocarditis depends on the underlying cause and severity. Usually, in mild cases, your doctor might recommend taking rest and prescribes certain medications to heal your heart. Antibiotics are prescribed if the myocarditis is due to bacteria.. Corticosteroids and immunosuppressant drugs would be helpful if the cause of myocarditis is any immunologic condition.
To eliminate excess fluids and reduce the cardiac workload, your doctor would prescribe any of the following medications:
In severe cases, your doctor would prefer aggressive treatment which includes: