Myocarditis is an inflammation of the cardiac muscles, leading to complications like poor cardiac rhythm. It weakens cardiac output and makes aged patients vulnerable to sudden cardiac attacks.
Myocarditis causes the myocardium to malfunction, leading to a cardiac malfunction that prevents uniform blood circulation, risking sudden fainting or breathing issues. We suggest patients experiencing symptoms like unexplained chest pain or feeling dizzy seek immediate healthcare.
Myocarditis: Clinical facts for patients
Myocarditis symptoms are limited to patients with a congenital heart disorder or as an occupational illness. Recently, many individuals have experienced it as a side-effect of COVID infection. Patients need to consult a cardiologist to diagnose underlying heart issues.
Males are more prone to myocarditis diagnosis than females, and athletic folks may also develop abnormal heart issues from stress.
Myocarditis meaning: Overview
Myocarditis in Greek means heart (card), muscle (myo), and inflammation (itis).
The human heart is a triple-layered organ, and the myocardium forms the muscular median layer. This layer manages rhythmic generations that ensure blood flow through the heart chambers.
Myocarditis symptoms include chest pain, abnormal cardiac rhythms, and breath issues that cause shortness of breath. Besides irregular heart rate, this can occur from a potential drug intolerance, underlying viral infection and cause extreme heart discomfort.
Patients must seek clinical support from a physician to learn more about underlying heart muscle issues.
How many types of myocarditis exist?
Patients may develop myocarditis symptoms from clinicopathological (Lieberman), aetiological, and pathological reasons. Cardiac muscle complications are further classified as follows.
- Clinicopathological myocarditis:
- Acute (found in individuals with preexisting cardiac issues).
- Chronic active (side effect of active heart dysfunction).
- Chronic persistent (prolonged cardiac inflammation).
- Fulminant (side effect of viral infection).
- Aetiological myocarditis:
- Drug side effects
- Viral infection
- Pathological reasons:
- Reperfusion necrosis
What triggers myocarditis infection in patients?
Individuals may experience myocarditis symptoms if patients display the mentioned causes. Besides, virus infection affects heart muscles and leads to compromised immunity that may trigger abnormal cardiac rhythms, even a heart attack.
Check out more about the causative factors.
- Patients having auto-immune diseases (Churg-Strauss syndrome, Wegener’s granulomatosis, IBS, scleroderma, systemic lupus erythematosus, myasthenia gravis).
- Side effects of bacterial infection (Lyme disease, syphilis, tuberculosis, diphtheria, Streptococcus).
- Cardiac muscle issues from drug-induced intolerance (diuretics, amphetamines, digoxin, anti-cancer and psychotic medications).
- Individuals with untreated fungal infections (candida, Histoplasma and aspergillus infections).
- Patients with parasite-induced illness (Chagas’ disease and schistosomiasis).
- Individuals contracting viral infections (COVID-19, HIV, hepatitis, adenovirus, enterovirus, Epstein Barr virus, and dengue).
Myocarditis symptoms: Signs showing underlying complications
Unlike most cardiac issues, myocarditis symptoms are variable. Individuals without previous cardiac conditions may complain of unexplained chest pain, while those with underlying conditions may experience an abnormal heartbeat.
Patients should consult a cardiologist having one or more of the signs mentioned below.
- Unexplained palpitation
- Breathing complications
- Heavy feeling on the chest
- Patient experience fainting when standing for a while, including a sudden drop in blood pressure.
- Oedema and swelling of hands and feet
- Frequent inflammation and fever
- The patient experiencing prolonged fatigue throughout the day.
Myocarditis diagnosis: Methods to detect underlying cardiac muscle complications
Myocarditis symptoms vary, making them complicated to understand without an advanced diagnosis. Individuals experiencing the mentioned symptoms must visit a heart specialist to confirm the detection of the underlying cardiac abnormality.
Learn more about the methods of myocarditis diagnosis below.
- Physicians perform elementary diagnosis using a sphygmomanometer and stethoscope.
- ECG (12-lead) provides a detailed understanding of the signs of myocarditis.
- Pathological diagnosis of cardiac markers (Troponin I and II), blood lipid, total blood count, CRP and ESR.
- Chest X-ray provides clarity of the underlying valve complications.
- Cardiac MRI to get detailed imagery analysis
- Serological diagnosis to detect potential CHD
- Cardiologists may prescribe Holter monitoring to detect underlying arrhythmia.
- Biopsy of the myocardium to detect underlying inflammation.
Myocarditis treatment: Clinical techniques employed
Physicians aim to ease myocarditis symptoms through medications that restore the natural cardiac rhythm. Treatment depends on the severity of the heart muscles, besides surgery and therapy.
Patients should consult a physician if experiencing signs of myocarditis to get treated at the earliest or prevent the worsening of the underlying condition. It includes the following:
- Medications like blood thinners, diuretics, and vasodilators help treat arrhythmia and heart failure.
- Interferon treatment is effective in treating myocarditis from viral infection.
- Individuals with acute myocarditis need immediate clinical support to stabilise and treat underlying ailments.
- If the patient displays symptoms limited to personal discomfort, supportive therapy providing preventive care helps stabilise myocarditis symptoms.
- In an emergency, extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) helps restore cardiac vitality.
- For patients with chronic myocarditis, heart transplantation is the last resort.
Myocarditis prevention: Potential tips to prevent worsening of cardiac muscles
Myocarditis is not life-threatening, meaning patients can lead a natural life with preventive care. However, complete alleviation of symptoms is subject to underlying complications of the myocardium.
We suggest patients feeling mentioned symptoms seek immediate clinical support while following these preventive tips, ensuring further worsening of cardiac condition.
- No stress or anxiety buildup (sufficient sleep).
- The patient must abstain from intoxication/smoking.
- Myocarditis exercise, as suggested, helps stabilise heart muscles.
- Early diagnosis and regular health checkups can ensure detection in the nascent stage.
- Treatment of underlying heart conditions also lowers the risk of myocarditis.
Heart muscle inflammation is a curable condition unless it comes with extreme conditions like dilated cardiomyopathy. The myocarditis survival rate is maximum for fulminant myocarditis and minimum in case of giant cell myocarditis. We suggest patients experiencing signs of myocarditis visit a cardiologist to ensure timely treatment & clinical support.
Patients experiencing sudden cardiac discomfort can visit the nearest CK Birla Hospital. Myocarditis patients must receive state-of-the-art clinical support under critical care and emergency to stabilise underlying myocardium trauma promptly. Hence please seek help at your nearest healthcare provider without delay.
If you have a family history of heart diseases, it is advisable to get yourself screened for cardiac problems. Book a consultation with one of Delhi NCR’s most sought after cardiologist Dr Sanjeeva Kumar Gupta.