Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Wikipedia.


Inflammation of the myocardium.



inflammation of the heart muscle (myocardium). Myocarditis may be caused by infectious diseases, including viral ones, and by an allergic reaction, which is the main pathogenic factor in drug-induced and serum myocarditis. The role of autoimmunities and allergies is manifested in postinfluenzal myocarditis, in which the acute infectious disease (influenza) passes but the myocarditis caused by it persists for many months. Contemporary medicine generally accepts the theory that most forms of myocarditis are caused by infections and allergies. Myocarditis is a common symptom of collagen diseases, such as rheumatism, systemic lupus erythematosus, and scleroderma. In South America, Africa, and Polynesia myocarditis may be caused by parasitic diseases. In many cases the cause of myocarditis is unidentified.

Myocarditis may be diffuse or focal. Depending on the course of the disease, cases are categorized as acute, subacute, and chronic (recurrent). Cases may be mild, extremely severe, or fatal. In acute myocarditis patients commonly complain that they feel weak, tire easily, and are short of breath. They suffer from rapid heartbeat (tachycardia), arrhythmia, and pain in the heart. Pallor is also a common symptom. Arterial pressure is low, and venous pressure high, owing to the decreased force of heart contractions. The cervical veins in the neck swell, and the heart becomes enlarged. Various irregularities in cardiac contractions and conduction, to the point of complete atrioventricular heart block, are common and are accompanied by specific electrocardiographic changes. Often there are no clear-cut symptoms of myocarditis, and death occurs unexpectedly from severe injury to the myocardium. Of particular importance in diagnosing such cases are electrocardiography and laboratory tests, including blood count, analysis of protein and protein fractions, determination of enzymic activity, and immunologic studies.

The characteristics of myocarditis vary, depending on the origin of the disease. The most common form, rheumatic myocarditis, is usually accompanied by endocarditis, which results in heart defects. Pain in the heart and irregularities in cardiac rhythm and conduction are the most common symptoms of active rheumatic endocarditis. The causes and developmental mechanisms of idiopathic myocarditis, the most severe form of the disease, are still obscure. Nonetheless, a number of varieties have been distinguished. In one of them, symptoms of cardiovascular insufficiency prevail, accompanied by arrhythmia and the development of pulmonary and renal infarctions and of circulatory disorders in the cerebrum. Another variety is associated with pain in the heart and with EKG changes, and still another, with the development of relative valvular inefficiency due to cardiomegaly. One type of idiopathic myocarditis is manifested by a mixture of symptoms associated with other varieties of the disease.

Diphtherial myocarditis, which occurs in approximately 25–30 percent of all diphtheria patients, usually develops in the second week of the disease. Its most characteristic symptom is disturbance of conduction, to the point of complete atrioventricular heart block. Prompt therapy usually results in recovery, and cardiac disorders persist in only a few patients.

Treatment includes complete rest and the prescription of vitamins (C, B-complex), steroid hormones, and anti-infectious and antiarrhythmic medicines. Salicylates are prescribed in cases of rheumatic endocarditis, and appropriate drugs are prescribed for cardiovascular insufficiency.


Kedrov, A. A. Bolezni myshtsy serdtsa. Leningrad, 1963.


References in periodicals archive ?
Rhys Jones, pictured at his graduation last April, died of natural causes following heart inflammation myocarditis
Enteroviruses are recognized as a major cause of acute myocarditis and are associated with [less than or equal to] 14% of cases (10).
Fulminant myocarditis (FM) is severe and aggressive, with a high mortality rate under regular treatment procedures.
Cardiac involvement in LD may lead to the development of endocarditis, myocarditis, and pericarditis, as well as arrhythmias such as sinus bradycardia, second-and third-degree atrioventricular (AV) block, atrial fibrillation, and premature ventricular contractions.
Giant cell myocarditis is most commonly diagnosed via endomyocardial biopsy (52%), evaluation of the heart at autopsy (23%) or explantation (21%), or via examination of apical wedge sections removed at the time of ventricular assist device placement (4%).
The incidence of CLZ-associated myocarditis is controversial, with values of around 3% in Australia and of [less than or equal to] 1% elsewhere (3-7).
She was found to have myocarditis and myositis with rhabdomyolysis.
left ventricular dysfunction occurred in all the mice, irrespectively if they had myocarditis.
5) The Coxsackie group B viruses are now increasingly recognised as a cause of myocarditis with or without pericarditis.
Additionally, the report provides an overview of key players involved in therapeutic development for Myocarditis and features dormant and discontinued projects.
1 Wegeners granulomatosis###(Wrong)Fungal myocarditis and Cresentric GN
It also reviews key players involved in the therapeutic development for Myocarditis and special features on late-stage and discontinued projects.