- What is Viral Myocarditis?
- Viral Myocarditis Symptoms
- Viral Myocarditis Prognosis
- Viral Myocarditis Treatment
What is Viral Myocarditis?
Myocarditis is an inflammation of the heart muscle which will decrease the strength or ability of the heart to pump blood normally. Viral myocarditis is when this condition is caused by a virus infection. Additional causes of myocarditis include medication, chemical exposure, radiation or another illness.
There are numerous different viruses which can cause viral myocarditis but in the United States is seems that Coxsackie Virus B is the most common. Other viruses which may cause myocarditis consist of echovirus, Epstein-Barr, influenza, varicella or Chicken Pox, rubella, mumps and the hepatitis viruses.
Viral Myocarditis Symptoms
The symptoms of this condition widely vary. With adults, it can often mimic those symptoms of a heart attack with mild to serious pains in the central part of the chest which can radiate to the shoulders, neck, as well as the upper arms. In more severe circumstances, the symptoms include:
- Rapid pulse
- Arrhythmias of the heart
In infants, signs can also include heart murmurs, bluish color as well as an appetite that is poor.
Myocarditis can usually be suspected whenever arrhythmia or chest pain symptoms are remindful of congestive heart failure and happen during the progression of an infectious illness, specifically a viral one. It also should be assumed when such symptoms occur in the lack of a clear diagnosis.
Myocarditis can start with symptoms of the flu that remain longer than the normal several days. If there is substantial muscle damage as well as heart chamber weakening the symptoms of heart failure can progress. Approximately a month or two later, the indications of flu merge with the symptoms of heart failure causing the following symptoms:
- Fatigue during physical activity
- Shortness of breath
If the disease is advanced and stubborn, the symptoms become immobilizing enough for the individual to see their primary care physician. But by this time, the organism usually can’t be identified or even cultured from the heart or any other place in the body.
Usually most individuals with simple myocarditis caused by Coxsackie virus do not have any symptoms and the only sign of heart inflammation is an abnormal temporary result on an EKG which measures the heart’s electrical activity. Other symptoms can include:
- Chest pain
- Cardiac arrhythmias – abnormally fast, irregular or slow
- Sudden loss of consciousness
- Signs of heart failure – shortness of breath, leg swelling
Viral Myocarditis Prognosis
There are many sorts of infections which are viral and can upset quite a few areas of the body, including the muscles of the heart. Myocarditis may mature at the identical time as or most frequently just after, a chest or throat infection that is viral. The body’s natural immune system can clear up countless forms of viruses. This simply means that numerous cases of viral myocarditis go away by themselves within a week or two.
Viral Myocarditis Treatment
Very mild, viral- myocarditis in adults usually cures on its own with little or no treatment. In the same way, mild cases caused by additional infection frequently necessitate only taking antibiotics or added drugs to manage the causal disease.
Myocarditis which is more severe may cause marked arrhythmias of the heart as well as heart failure if the inflammation appropriately damages the muscle of the heart or myocardium.
In these cases, medications to steady the function of the heart can be needed. This can include vasodilators, diuretics, digitalis, ACE inhibitors as well as other drugs. In many severe kind of myocarditis, steroids may also be prescribed.
Often even after myocarditis is resolved, heart muscles remain damaged permanently. If the heart is blocked or there is marked slowing of the heart rate, a pacemaker can be needed. In advanced and very severe cases, transplantation can be the only alternative.
While in the acute phase of myocarditis, individuals are counseled to rest and then slowly return to a vigorous lifestyle after there is no further sign of ongoing inflammation and injury to the heart.
Many cases of myocarditis cause very minimal damage to the heart. The function of the heart normally recuperates in these very mild cases. There is occasionally in severe cases also natural clearing up, leaving very little damage which is permanent. This is the exception and not the rule as normally in severe cases the inflammation causes chronic, progressive as well as irreversible heart damage.