Amid growing concerns that a bout of COVID-19 might damage the heart, a small study is reporting signs of an inflammatory heart condition in college athletes who had the infection.
The biopsy results came back the next day. It was giant-cell myocarditis (G.C.M.), the most dangerous of the possibilities. This mysterious and deadly autoimmune disease has only been diagnosable before autopsy since the development of the heart biopsy some 50 years ago. Effective treatment has only recently emerged.
Women are treated less aggressively in their initial encounters at the hospital until they 'prove that they're as sick as male patients.'
An inflammation of the heart muscle, myocarditis can be life-threatening if not treated in time. One young survivor shares his story.
Why it infiltrated my heart, causing something called myocarditis, no one knows, but it kills more than 300,000 people globally each year. “How can a common virus disable a perfectly healthy heart?” I asked my cardiologist, Dr. Fernando Mendoza. “I’ve had patients in their 20s die of this,” he said. They collapse and never get up.
In developed countries, viral infections commonly cause myocarditis; however, in the developing world, rheumatic carditis following streptococcal infection and certain bacterial infections, such as diptheria (due to Corynebacterium diphtheriae), still contribute to the global burden of disease.
Myocarditis is a diverse group of heart-specific immune processes classified by clinical and histopathological manifestations. Up to 40% of dilated cardiomyopathy is associated with inflammation or viral infection. Recent experimental studies revealed complex regulatory roles for several microribonucleic acids and T-cell and macrophage subtypes.
Viral myocarditis has been recognized as a cause of congestive heart failure for >50 years, but it is still a challenging disease to diagnose and treat. The history and clinical features are often nonspecific, and practical serological markers are not available during the acute phase of the disease.
There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t think of all the survivors and victims of myocarditis. It truly is a devastating illness, and like most people, I had never heard of it.
Myocarditis is a disease marked by inflammation and damage of the heart muscle. Although the exact incidence of myocarditis is not known, it is estimated that several thousand patients per year are diagnosed in the United States.
When myocarditis is severe enough, the pumping action of your heart weakens and your heart is unable to supply the rest of your body with enough oxygen-rich blood. Clots can form in the heart as well, potentially leading to a stroke or heart attack.
Myocarditis can be mild and cause virtually no noticeable symptoms. The most frequent symptom of myocarditis is pain in the chest. When myocarditis is more serious, it leads to weakening of the heart muscle. Myocarditis can then cause heart failure (with symptoms of shortness of breath, fatigue, fluid accumulation in the lungs, etc.) as well as heart rhythm irregularities from inflammation and/or scarring of the electrical system of the heart.
Myocarditis is an uncommon disorder that is usually caused by viral infections that reach the heart, including those due to the Coxsackie virus, adenovirus, and echovirus. It may also occur during or after various viral, bacterial, or parasitic infections (such as polio, influenza, or rubella).
Myocarditis is an inflammation of the heart muscle. There are various causes. Depending on the cause and severity, symptoms and possible problems can range from no symptoms at all, to life-threatening heart failure.
The myocardium is the muscular wall of the heart, or the heart muscle. It contracts to pump blood out of the heart and then relaxes as the heart refills with returning blood. The myocardium's smooth outer membrane is called the epicardium. Its inner lining is called the endocardium.