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Viral Myocarditis is an inflammation of the myocardium, the middle layer of the heart wall. Myocarditis can affect both the heart's muscle cells and the heart's electrical system, leading to reduction in the heart's pumping function and to irregular heart rhythms. The symptoms are:
• Chest pain
• Rapid or abnormal heart rhythms (arrhythmias)
• Shortness of breath, at rest or during physical activity
• Fluid retention with swelling of your legs, ankles and feet
HOW IS VIRAL MYOCARDITIS DIAGNOSED?
To diagnose myocarditis, the doctor may conduct a physical examination, and discuss medical history and any signs or symptoms. Other tests that may be suggested are:
• Electrocardiogram (ECG).
• Chest X-ray.
• Blood tests.
• Cardiac catheterization and endomyocardial biopsy.
HOW IS VIRAL MYOCARDITIS TREATED?
In many cases myocarditis improves, either on its own or with treatment, leading to a complete recovery. Myocarditis treatment focuses on treating the underlying cause. In certain cases the doctor may prescribe medication to help the body fight off the infection causing myocarditis while the heart recovers. Certain rare types of viral myocarditis, such as giant cell and eosinophilic myocarditis, respond to corticosteroids or other medications to suppress the immune system response.
DID YOU KNOW?
Rest and reducing the workload on your heart is an important part of recovery.