First therapeutic use of Artesunate in treatment of human herpesvirus 6B myocarditis in a child

Department of Pediatric Cardiology, Children's Heart Centre, Skåne University Hospital, Lund, Sweden. Electronic address: .
Journal of clinical virology: the official publication of the Pan American Society for Clinical Virology (Impact Factor: 3.02). 03/2013; 57(2). DOI: 10.1016/j.jcv.2013.02.005
Source: PubMed


BACKGROUND: Human herpesvirus 6 (HHV-6) is an important cause of fulminant or acute viral myocarditis. However, insufficiency of standard antiviral treatment against HHV-6 is an emerging problem. OBJECTIVES: To describe the case of child with HHV-6 myocarditis who was treated by unloading with a left ventricular assist device and Artesunate. STUDY DESIGN: Case report supported by histological and viral diagnoses via a combination of histology/immunohistochemistry and polymerase chain reaction techniques performed on cardiac tissues before and after treatment. RESULTS: Following therapeutic intervention, the clinical status and heart function improved. Endomyocardial biopsies revealed decreased levels of HHV-6B DNA in the myocardium and the disappearance of histological findings in support of lymphocytic myocarditis. Left ventricular assist device could be explanted. No adverse effects of Artesunate were noted. CONCLUSIONS: In addition to existing heart failure treatments, Artesunate can be considered as an effective candidate for clinical use in cases of HHV-6B associated myocarditis.

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    • "Promisingly, ARM has been shown to exert anticancer activity in tumor cell lines, while ART has shown anticancer properties in mice with established human tumors [13]–[18]. Several research groups have additionally reported that artemisinin derivatives have antiviral properties in vitro [19], [20]. However, clinical research regarding the toxic effects of these derivatives following a low dose treatment protocol over an extended time period is lacking. "
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