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Jay W. Mason

, and Heinz-Peter Schultheiss

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date: 02 March 2021

Myocarditis can be acute, subacute, or chronic and may affect either focal or diffuse areas of the myocardium. It has many infectious and non-infectious aetiologies, but viral infections are the main cause in most regions, with notable exceptions such as Chagas myocarditis in South America. The condition often results in congestive heart failure and is a common cause of chronic dilated cardiomyopathy, also called inflammatory cardiomyopathy. It can present with (a)typical chest pain, palpitations, ventricular arrhythmias, syncope, or even fulminant heart failure. Patients with lymphocytic myocarditis are usually young (average age in the forties) and often report an antecedent viral illness. The disease can be diagnosed by demonstration of lymphocyte infiltration and adjacent myocyte damage on endomyocardial biopsy, and molecularly by the detection of viral genomic material and tissue markers of immune activation in biopsy specimens.

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