What is myocarditis?
Myocarditis is inflammation in the middle layer of the heart wall, called the myocardium, usually caused by an infection. Severe cases of myocarditis can weaken the heart's pumping ability, which can lead to heart failure.
What causes myocarditis?
Most cases of myocarditis are caused by viral, bacterial or fungal infections. Other causes can include allergic reactions to medications or toxins and diseases that cause inflammation throughout the body, such as rheumatoid arthritis.
What are the symptoms of myocarditis?
Mild cases of myocarditis may cause either no symptoms or flu-like symptoms such as fatigue, fever and achiness. Symptoms of more severe cases may include:
- Irregular heartbeat
- Shortness of breath
- Chest pain
- Joint pain or swelling
- Swelling in the legs
How is myocarditis diagnosed?
If your doctor suspects myocarditis, he or she may order one or more diagnostic tests, which may include:
- Blood tests
- Chest X-ray
- Electrocardiogram (ECG or EKG)
- Holter monitor
- Cardiac MRI
- Cardiac Catheterization
How is myocarditis treated?
Treatment of myocarditis focuses on treating the underlying cause. If, for example, your condition is being caused by a bacterial infection, your doctor will prescribe antibiotic medication.
In cases where myocarditis leads to heart failure, your doctor will also prescribe a program of treatment for heart failure.
For more information about Methodist DeBakey Cardiology Associates or to make an appointment, please call us at 713-441-1100 or 888-361-4375, or contact us online.