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Our Approach to Treatment

Houston Methodist heart failure specialists and cardiac pathologists collaborate to identify and treat myocarditis, heart inflammation caused by a variety of factors. Advanced technology, including cardiac MRI and biopsies, helps our cardiologists with expertise in myocarditis reach diagnoses that often elude other doctors.

Our physician-scientists at Houston Methodist DeBakey Heart & Vascular Center and Houston Methodist Research Institute lead the nation in studying heart inflammation and its triggers so we can help doctors worldwide better diagnose it and save more lives. We conduct research to try to improve our understanding of how the immune system affects myocarditis, as well as find new therapies to treat it.

Myocarditis is inflammation of the middle layer of the heart wall commonly caused by viruses. Some patients recover from the condition, while others develop cardiomyopathy, a weakened and enlarged heart.

  • Viruses, including those that cause colds, HIV and hepatitis C 
  • Bacteria
  • Fungal infections
  • Parasites
  • Allergic reactions to medicines
  • Toxins
  • Autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis

  • Flu-like symptoms, including fatigue and achiness
  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest pain
  • Lightheadedness
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Sudden loss of consciousness

  • Endomyocardial biopsy, or biopsy of heart tissue inside the heart
  • Cardiac MRI
  • Echocardiogram
  • Viral polymerase chain reaction (PCR) analysis, for viral infection confirmation