This disease is marked by the inflammation of the myocardium — the muscular layer of the heart wall. The disease can affect your heart’s electrical system and your heart muscle, causing rapid or abnormal heart rhythms and reducing the heart’s capacity to pump.
It is believed that about 33 percent of the suferrers stay with a reduced heart function, 33 percent get better, and the condition substantially deteriorates in approximately 33 percent of the suferrers.
Common symptoms include:
- an irregular heart rhythm;
- heart palpitations;
- high temperature;
- difficulty breathing when resting;
- shortness of breath when walking or lightly exercising;
- tightness in the chest.
Possible complications include:
- swelling of the legs and tiredness;
- cardiac arrhythmias;
- sudden loss of consciousness.
In about fifty percent of cases, no specific cause of the condition is ever identified. However, there are some factors which can cause myocarditis and they include:
- borrelia (the cause of Lyme disease);
- Coxsackie B viruses;
- Treponema (the cause of syphilis);
- Epstein-Barr virus (also known as human herpesvirus 4);
- Staphylococcal bacteria;
- Cytomegalovirus (a genus of viruses in the order Herpesviral);
- Streptococcal bacteria;
- Hepatitis C (about 4 million Americans have the disease);
- celiac disease;
- rheumatoid arthritis;
- Crohn’s disease;
- Parvovirus (viruses in the Parvoviridae taxonomic family);
- drugs for epilepsy;
- Chlamydia (a common sexually transmitted disease);
- diuretics (like hydrochlorothiazide and furosemide);
- Mycoplasma (bacteria which cause a lung infection);
- antibiotics (like sulfa drugs, penicillins, and azithromycin);
- fungal infections which are passed through bird droppings.
Risk factors for inflammation of the myocardium include:
- autoimmune processes (in which your immune system makes antibodies that attack your own normal cells);
- radiation and poisoning;
- Toxoplasma gondii (parasitic alveolate that causes the disease toxoplasmosis);
- Trypanosoma cruzi (the causative agent of Chagas disease);
- bacterial infections with agents like – Rickettsia, Chlamydia, Corynebacterium, and Coxiella;
- viral infections – Influenza, Rubella, Coxsackie, Adeno, Polio, and HIV.
Your healthcare provider can run a few tests to diagnose the cause of the myocardium’s inflammation, including:
- a myocardial biopsy – it may be performed during a heart catheterization and it is done through a catheter that is threaded into your heart;
- echocardiogram – it helps to detect functional or structural problems in the heart and adjacent vessels;
- electrocardiogram – it may detect abnormal heart rhythms and rates which may indicate a damaged heart muscle;
- chest X-ray – it may show potential signs of heart failure and chest anatomy;
- blood testing – they are done to check for signs of inflammation or infection sources.
Treatment options may include:
- steroids to reduce inflammation;
- intravenous immunoglobulin, in which a blood product is injected to help the immune system;
- antiviral medications to treat the viral infection;
- antibiotics to treat the bacterial infection.
It is an inflammation of the endocardium – the inner lining of the heart. It is commonly caused by the growth of pathogenic bacteria on one of the heart valves.
According to statistics, 13 out of every 100,000 Americans are hospitalized with this condition every year.
Common symptoms include:
- swelling in your legs, feet, or abdomen;
- chest pain when you breathe;
- shortness of breath;
- night sweats;
- aching muscles and joints;
- a new or changed heart murmur.
Complications may include:
- mycotic aneurysm (a dilation of an artery caused by damage to the vessel wall);
- metastatic infection (a serious infection associated with high mortality and morbidity);
- pulmonary and musculoskeletal complications.
The condition usually occurs when pathogenic bacteria or other germs spread through the bloodstream and attach to damaged areas in the heart.
Risk factors of inflammation of your heart’s inner lining include:
- having a catheter in the body for long periods of time;
- damaged heart valves;
- a previous episode of inflammation of the heart’s inner lining;
- artificial heart valves;
- dental procedures, especially in people with certain heart problems;
- intravenous drug use;
- implanted medical devices in the heart;
- heart abnormalities present at birth.
Your healthcare provider may order a few tests to help make a positive diagnosis, including:
- magnetic resonance imaging – it uses radio waves, magnets, and a computer to make detailed pictures inside the body;
- computerized tomography scan – it produces cross-sectional images of the body;
- chest X-ray – it may help your doctor to see if the condition has caused the heart to enlarge;
- electrocardiogram – it can help your healthcare professional to observe if something is affecting the heart’s electrical activity;
- echocardiogram – it uses sound waves to produce images of the heart;
- blood tests – they can help your healthcare professional to identify if there is a shortage of healthy red blood cells.
Most cases can be treated with a course of antibiotics.
Surgery may be required if the heart valves have been damaged. An estimated 20 percent of suferrers need some type of surgery.
Myocarditis vs Endocarditis – Differences
Myocarditis is an inflammation of the myocardium. There are several causes, however, it is commonly caused by some type of virus. Viruses may incite the body’s immune system to target the heart muscle or they may directly damage the muscle layer of the heart. Men are known to have a higher incidence of this inflammation than women.
Endocarditis is an infection of the endocardium – the inner lining of the heart valves and heart chambers. It usually occurs when fungi, bacteria, or other germs invade the bloodstream and attach to abnormal areas of the heart.
Individuals who have congenital abnormalities of the heart valves or a damaged heart valve are at higher risk for this condition. The most common symptoms include:
- joint and muscle pain;
- a high temperature of 100.4F or above;
- tiredness (fatigue);
- heart murmurs;
- night sweats;
- shortness of breath, particularly during physical activity;