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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:
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:

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) .

Treatment

Your child will need bed rest. Physical activity should be avoided. Myocarditis may be relieved by treating the underlying cause if possible:
Medication may also be given to support the heart function and remove extra fluid from the lungs or other body tissues.

Prevention

To help prevent viral or bacterial infections, practice good hygiene. For example, have your child wash his or her hands regularly.

RESOURCES

American Heart Association http://www.heart.org

National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov

CANADIAN RESOURCES

Canadian Cardiovascular Society http://www.ccs.ca

Health Canada http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca

References

Myocarditis. Seattle Children's Hospital website. Available at: http://www.seattlechildrens.org/medical-conditions/heart-blood-conditions/myocarditis/#. Accessed November 5, 2014

Myocarditis.Children's Hospital of Philadelphia website. Available at: http://www.chop.edu/conditions-diseases/myocarditis/about#.VFpiuWd3eM0. Updated September 1, 2013. Accessed November 5, 2014.

Myocarditis. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated March 6, 2013. Accessed November 5, 2014.

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