Myocarditis—Child

Definition

Myocarditis is an inflammation of the heart’s muscle. It is rare. Myocarditis can occur with no symptoms and remain undiagnosed.
Healthy Myocardium
normal heart section
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Causes

In most children, the condition is often caused by a viral infection. Other potential causes include:
  • Certain medications
  • Autoimmune disorders
  • Infections by bacteria, parasites, or fungus
Sometimes the cause cannot be found.

Risk Factors

There are no known risk factors for developing myocarditis.

Symptoms

Some children may have no symptoms. Those who do may have a variety symptoms that can appear slowly or come on suddenly. Children older than 2 years old may have fewer symptoms than babies.Symptoms may include:
  • Flu-like complaints, including fever, fatigue, muscle or joint pain, vomiting, diarrhea , and weakness
  • Rapid or irregular heart rate
  • Chest pain
  • Trouble breathing
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Swelling of the face, feet, or legs
  • Abdominal pain
  • Decreased urine output

Diagnosis

You will be asked about your child’s symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will be done. There is no specific test for myocarditis. The diagnosis can usually be made based on the history, physical exam, and test results.Your child's bodily fluids and tissues may be tested. This can be done with:Images may be taken of your child's bodily structures. This can be done with: The electrical activity of your child's heart may be measured. This can be done with an electrocardiogram (ECG) .

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