Myocarditis

Also known as: inflammation of the myocardium, inflammation of the heart

​What is Myocarditis?

The myocardium is the thick layer of muscle tissue in the center of the wall of the heart. When it becomes inflamed, the disorder is known as myocarditis which may lead to a number of symptoms.

What causes myocarditis?
Viruses are the most common cause of myocarditis, however  bacteria, parasites and fungi can also cause myocarditis. In rarer instances, certain medications or exposures to chemicals, radiation, or toxins can lead to myocarditis. Some diseases which cause inflammation throughout the body, for example rheumatoid arthritis, may also involve the heart and cause myocarditis.

What are the symptoms of myocarditis?
Some children may have very  few,  difficult to detect symptoms, however as myocarditis  affects the heart’s ability to pump blood normally, symptoms can include trouble breathing, heart palpitations, chest pain, fatigue and fainting.

What are myocarditis care options?
In many cases myocarditis can be treated with medications that help the heart pump blood more easily. Most children with good medical treatment will recover completely. When myocarditis is severe, surgery or the implantation of a pacemaker might be required to help the heart work more efficiently.

Reviewed by: Jack Wolfsdorf, MD, FAAP

This page was last updated on: 6/12/2018 1:44:40 PM

From the Newsdesk

Infant flown from Puerto Rico days after Hurricane Maria for Lifesaving Surgery
Naialee Perez had just given birth to her first child, a baby boy named Liam, when a category five hurricane was making its way towards her hometown in the island of Puerto Rico. Liam was on a ventilator and undergoing treatment for a congenital heart defect in Hospital del Niño in San Juan while those on the island prepared for what would become one of the most catastrophic hurricanes in its history.
August Patient of the Month: Luife
While he was still inside his mother’s womb, Luife was diagnosed with transposition of the great arteries, a congenital heart defect. Shortly after birth, Luife was taken by ambulance to the cardiac team at Nicklaus Children’s. The pediatric cardiology team took Luife’s heart apart, piece by delicate piece, and successfully, put it back together. Today, Luife is a healthy, active and outgoing 8-year-old boy who wears his “Scar of Honor” with pride.