Myocarditis means inflammation of the heart muscle. Myocarditis may be asymptomatic or have very different clinical presentations ranging from chest pain, heart failure symptoms like shortness of breath, abnormal heart rhythms or cardiac arrest.
Most people suffering with myocarditis recover without complications, but in rare cases when inflammation is severe, there can be damage to the heart.
What are the symptoms of myocarditis?
Myocarditis can affect anyone, at any age, and can happen in people with no history of illness. Many people who have myocarditis usually develop symptoms one to two weeks after the initial viral illness.
Symptoms of myocarditis include:
- Chest pain and/or tightness
- Shortness of breath
- Fluid retention
- Flu like symptoms such as a high temperature, tiredness and fatigue
What causes myocarditis?
Myocarditis is commonly caused by:
- viral infections (including covid-19)
- bacterial or fungal infection
- an auto immune disease (when a person’s own immune system attacks their body)
- recently an association between mRNA vaccinations (Pfizer vaccine) for Covid 19 and myocarditis has been reported
- sometimes the cause is unknown
How is myocarditis diagnosed:
- Physical exam and medical history
- Blood test
- Electrocardiogram (ECG)
- Echocardiogram (ECHO)
- Cardiac MRI
Further diagnostics may include
- PET (positron emission tomography) scan to look for inflammation of the heart
- In some cases, an endomyocardial biopsy is done.
Treatment depends on what symptoms the person has, and the cause of the myocarditis. This often involves close monitoring, treatment for heart failure and other medications, including anti-inflammatory medicines. Sometimes drugs are necessary suppress the immune system. Many patients with myocarditis require close monitoring.
One Heart Clinic have developed a care pathway for patients with fast access to consultations and diagnostics.
The team at One Heart Clinic comprises of experts in this field.
Dr Oliver Guttmann
(Interventional Cardiology, Heart Muscle Disease, Myocarditis)
Dr Ravi Assomull
(Cardiovascular Imaging and Coronary Intervention)
Dr Graham Cole
(echo, cardiac MRI, cardiac CT)
Book a consultation
We believe the best cardiac care can only be achieved by the best cardiologists in their fields, working together, for you and your heart. Our consultants are able to offer appointments throughout the week and at weekends.