The heart, the central muscular organ of the circulatory system, plays an essential role in maintaining life, such as circulating blood carrying oxygen and nutrients throughout the body. For these actions to occur smoothly, the heart muscle, which circulates blood through contraction and relaxation, must work normally. Inflammation in the heart muscle causes swelling of the heart muscle and destruction of cells. Cardiac muscle refers to a condition in which inflammatory cells, which play such an important role, have developed due to various causes. It is largely divided into acute or chronic, and it is reported that the incidence rate is high in men older than 30 years of age. It is known that the main causes of myocarditis are viral infection, drugs, toxicity caused by toxins in the surrounding environment, and immunological abnormalities. Infectious myocarditis caused by viruses such as adenovirus, parvovirus, herpesvirus, and enterovirus is known to have the greatest influence on the occurrence. And it is reported that almost all bacteria, including diphtheria and staphylococcus, can cause myocarditis, and it can also be caused by diseases such as lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, and dermatomyositis. Now, let’s learn about the main symptoms, treatment, and management of myocarditis when it occurs.
Main symptoms of myocarditis
The most common symptom of myocarditis is chest pain. This chest pain causes squeezing and stabbing pains and is known to occur in about 35% of patients. In addition, symptoms such as chest tightness and palpitations due to irregular heartbeat, chest discomfort, fever, chills, muscle pain, joint pain, etc. And children may develop fever, shortness of breath, night sweats, and cyanosis. Many of the early symptoms of myocarditis are similar to colds, and there are many cases where it is not diagnosed as myocarditis even in clinical practice. In some cases, myocarditis heals spontaneously, but in the case of acute myocarditis with worsening symptoms, heart failure, arrhythmia, and myocardial infarction may occur. Myocarditis can lead to a fatal situation due to worsening of symptoms, but it is often improved with early appropriate drug treatment and rest. Therefore, it is important to visit the hospital for appropriate diagnosis and treatment when suspected related symptoms appear.
Diagnosis and treatment of myocarditis
1. Accurate diagnosis
Various tests are performed to diagnose myocarditis. Blood tests to check the level of elevation of inflammation and white blood cell count, and echocardiography to check for heart function and other comorbidities. Also, since chest pain is a suspected symptom of myocardial infarction, a cardiac muscle biopsy is sometimes performed to confirm the findings of myocardial infarction. In addition, various tests such as coronary angiography, cardiac MRI, and coronary CT may be additionally performed to determine the degree of heart muscle edema and coronary artery stenosis.
2. Treatment according to the diagnosis result
Depending on the results of the various tests mentioned above, you will be treated with various drugs. In most cases, supportive treatment for various complications is carried out by appropriate treatment for decreased cardiac function and arrhythmia in the acute phase. If there is a decrease in heart function, beta-blockers or angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors are used. And since myocarditis often gets better with treatment with various drugs and rest, it is recommended to take rest and stability during treatment.