Acute viral myocarditis: Current concepts in diagnosis and treatment

Heart Failure and Heart Muscle Disease Center, Heart Institute, Hadassah University Hospital, Jerusalem, Israel.
The Israel Medical Association journal: IMAJ (Impact Factor: 0.9). 03/2013; 15(3):180-5.
Source: PubMed


Acute myocarditis is one of the most challenging diseases to diagnose and treat in cardiology. The true incidence of the disease is unknown. Viral infection is the most common etiology. Modern techniques have improved the ability to diagnose specific viral pathogens in the myocardium. Currently, parvovirus B19 and adenoviruses are most frequently identified in endomyocardial biopsies. Most patients will recover without sequelae, but a subset of patients will progress to chronic inflammatory and dilated cardiomyopathy. The pathogenesis includes direct viral myocardial damage as well as autoimmune reaction against cardiac epitopes. The clinical manifestations of acute myocarditis vary widely--from asymptomatic changes on electrocardiogram to fulminant heart failure, arrhythmias and sudden cardiac death. Magnetic resonance imaging is emerging as an important tool for the diagnosis and follow-up of patients, and for guidance of endomyocardial biopsy. In the setting of acute myocarditis endomyocardial biopsy is required for the evaluation of patients with a clinical scenario suggestive of giant cell myocarditis and of those who deteriorate despite supportive treatment. Treatment of acute myocarditis is still mainly supportive, except for giant cell myocarditis where immunotherapy has been shown to improve survival. Immunotherapy and specific antiviral treatment have yet to demonstrate definitive clinical efficacy in ongoing clinical trials. This review will focus on the clinical manifestations, the diagnostic approach to the patient with clinically suspected acute myocarditis, and an evidence-based treatment strategy for the acute and chronic form of the disease.

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    • "At present, cardiovascular magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is an important tool in the noninvasive assessment of patients with suspected myocarditis, specifically in the differential diagnosis of acute coronary syndrome (ACS). Cardiovascular MRI is used for diagnosing myocarditis, in addition to guiding endomyocardial biopsies (2,3). The present study examines the importance of cardiovascular MRI in the diagnosis and differential diagnosis of myocarditis via a case report. "
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    ABSTRACT: Endomyocardial biopsy is the gold standard for diagnosing viral myocarditis. However, this method is rarely used as it is more invasive, less sensitive and has a higher incidence of complications than other methods. With recent developments in myocarditis research, cardiovascular nuclear magnetic resonance imaging has been demonstrated to have a marked advantage over endomyocardial biopsy, specifically regarding the differential diagnosis of acute coronary syndrome, as it is noninvasive, repeatable, highly sensitive and highly specific for diagnosing myocarditis. Myocardial edema is characteristic of myocardial inflammation, myocardial necrosis and myocardial fibrosis. T2-weighted nuclear magnetic resonance imaging sensitively detects myocardial tissue edema and additional imaging parameters contribute to the diagnosis of myocarditis. Therefore, combining these methods with the current sophisticated electrocardiogram and coronary angiography examination methods may facilitate the rapid and accurate assessment of viral myocarditis. A 44-year-old male patient with symptoms of dyspnea and shortness of breath accompanied by dizziness, through electrocardiography, coronary angiography and magnetic resonance imaging, was diagnosed viral myocarditis.
    Experimental and therapeutic medicine 06/2014; 7(6):1643-1646. DOI:10.3892/etm.2014.1671 · 1.27 Impact Factor
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    • "Viral myocarditis is one of the most challenging diseases to diagnose and treat in cardiology and has been commonly associated with a viral infection. Treatment of acute viral myocarditis is still an integrative and aggressive supportive care, except for giant cell myocarditis where immunotherapy has been shown to improve survival [37]. Currently, many patients turn to herbal medicine, a form of the main part of traditional Chinese medicine, when conventional medicine fails them or they believe strongly in the effectiveness of complementary medicine. "
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    ABSTRACT: Shenmai injection (SMI) is widely applied in clinical practice as an organ protector. This overview is to evaluate the current evidence from systematic reviews (SRs) of SMI for healthcare. The literature searches were carried out in 6 databases without language restrictions until December 2012. The quality of the primary studies from the respective SRs was evaluated by using Jadad score. The overview quality assessment questionnaire (OQAQ) was used to evaluate the methodological quality of all included SRs. Twenty eligible SRs were identified. They reported a wide range of conditions, including SMI for cardio/cerebrovascular diseases, viral myocarditis, tumor chemotherapy, and adverse drug reactions. Most of the primary studies were of good quality only in 1 SR of non-small-cell lung cancer. According to the OQAQ scores, the quality of included SRs was variable and six reviews were of high quality with a score of 5 points. Two SRs showed that SMI had low adverse drug reaction occurrence. In conclusion, there is mixed evidence to support efficacy of SMI for an adjunct therapy to tumor chemotherapy and premature evidence for the use of SMI for cardio/cerebrovascular disorders and viral myocarditis. SMI seems generally safe for clinical application. Further large sample-size and well-designed RCTs are needed.
    Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine 02/2014; 2014:840650. DOI:10.1155/2014/840650 · 1.88 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The coagulation protease cascade plays an essential role in hemostasis. In addition, a clot contributes to host defense by limiting the spread of pathogens. Coagulation proteases induce intracellular signaling by cleavage of cell surface receptors called protease-activated receptors (PARs). These receptors allow cells to sense changes in the extracellular environment, such as infection. Viruses activate the coagulation cascade by inducing tissue factor expression and by disrupting the endothelium. Virus infection of the heart can cause myocarditis, cardiac remodeling, and heart failure. A recent study using a mouse model have shown that tissue factor, thrombin, and PAR-1 signaling all positively regulate the innate immune during viral myocarditis. In contrast, PAR-2 signaling was found to inhibit interferon-β expression and the innate immune response. These observations suggest that anticoagulants may impair the innate immune response to viral infection and that inhibition of PAR-2 may be a new strategy to reduce viral myocarditis.
    Journal of Cardiovascular Translational Research 11/2013; 7(2). DOI:10.1007/s12265-013-9515-7 · 3.02 Impact Factor
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