Myocarditis is an inflammation of the heart’s muscular wall, the myocardium. Although rare, it can be devastating. Myocarditis can occur with no symptoms and remain undiagnosed.
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Many cases of myocarditis have no identifiable cause. This is called idiopathic myocarditis. When a cause is identified, it falls into one of three categories: infectious, toxic, or immune-mediated.
- Viral infection from viruses like measles, rabies, or HIV
- Bacterial infection from bacteria like diphtheria or Mycobacterium
- Fungal infection from Aspergillus or Candida
- Drugs, including chemotherapeutic drugs, lithium , orcocaine
- Heavy metals, including copper, iron, or lead
- Toxic substances, including arsenic, carbon monoxide, or other inhalants
- Physical agents, including electric shock or radiation
- Allergic reactions to penicillin or streptomycin
- Alloantigens, including heart transplant rejection
- Autoantigens, including Chagas’ disease, scleroderma, or lupus
Last reviewedDecember 2013by Michael J. Fucci, DO
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.