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Myocarditis is a caused by inflammation of the heart muscle. It may be a complication during or after various viral, bacterial, or parasitic infectious diseases, such as polio, influenza, rubella, or rheumatic fever. The most common cause is a viral infection , and the most common virus being an enterovirus. Over many years, a chronic enterovirus heart infection and the body’s response to that infection can lead to irreversible heart muscle damage and heart failure. Some cases of myocarditis may progress to congestive heart failure.
Myocarditis is often caused by various diseases such as syphilis, goiter, endocarditis, or hypertension. It may appear as a primary disease in adults or as a degenerative disease of old age. It can contribute to dilation (enlargement due to weakness of the heart muscle) or hypertrophy (overgrowth of the muscle tissue).
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Acute: An illness or symptom of sudden onset, which generally has a short duration.
Chronic: Usually Chronic illness: Illness extending over a long period of time.
Congestive: Pertaining to accumulation of blood or fluid within a vessel or organ.
Goiter: A chronic enlargement of the thyroid gland produced by the body in an attempt to increase hormone production from limited amount of iodine. It is not due to cancerous growth.
Hypertension: High blood pressure. Hypertension increases the risk of heart attack, stroke, and kidney failure because it adds to the workload of the heart, causing it to enlarge and, over time, to weaken; in addition, it may damage the walls of the arteries.
Hypertrophy: Increase in the size of an organ due to enlargement of its cells; frequently with a corresponding increase in functional capacity.
Syphilis: A sexually-transmitted disease, with symptoms in the early contagious stages being a sore on the genitalia, a rash, patches of flaking tissue, fever, a sore throat, and sores in the mouth or anus.
Virus: Any of a vast group of minute structures composed of a protein coat and a core of DNA and/or RNA that reproduces in the cells of the infected host. Capable of infecting all animals and plants, causing devastating disease in immunocompromised individuals. Viruses are not affected by antibiotics, and are completely dependent upon the cells of the infected host for the ability to reproduce.