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Myocarditis and pericarditis 

Myocarditis and pericarditis
Myocarditis and pericarditis

Michel Noutsias

and Bernhard Maisch



Important updates for classifications, diagnostic algorithms and position statements of the ESC for DCM, myocardits, genetic counselling, and pericardial tamponade.

Discussion on the value of CMR in chronic myocarditis.

Data of giant cell myocarditis added [Epub ahead of print].

Data from the BICC trial added

Updated on 27 July 2017. The previous version of this content can be found here.
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date: 14 July 2020

Transition of acute myocarditis to dilated cardiomyopathy occurs in approximately 20% of patients within a follow-up period of 33 months. Recent research has revealed the adverse prognostic impact of several clinical parameters for this scenario. Acute myocarditis and its sequelae dilated cardiomyopathy and inflammatory cardiomyopathy are often caused by viral infections. Histological evaluation of endomyocardial biopsies is critical for the diagnosis of the cardiomyopathy entity and for the clinical management of around 20% of the patients. Additionally, contemporary diagnostic procedures of endomyocardial biopsies are indispensable for the selection of inflammatory cardiomyopathy patients who will likely benefit from immunosuppression or antiviral (interferon) treatment. Immunoadsorption, with subsequent immunoglobulin substitution, is a further promising immunomodulatory treatment option for dilated cardiomyopathy patients, targeting primarily the anticardiac autoantibodies. Cardiac magnetic resonance has emerged as a valuable diagnostic approach for myocarditis and pericarditis. Myocardial late gadolinium enhancement has been associated with adverse outcome and sudden cardiac death. Bridging of the first 3 months with a wearable cardioverter–defibrillator, until a definitive decision on the implantation of an implantable cardioverter–defibrillator, is a growingly recognized cornerstone in the clinical management of patients with acute myocarditis with depressed left ventricular ejection fraction of <40% and new-onset dilated cardiomyopathy, respectively. Acute pericarditis is labelled idiopathic or suspected viral without adequate proof of the respective aetiology. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and colchicine are proven and safe therapeutic mainstays for pericarditis, including the first attack. Pericardiocentesis is a lifesaving treatment of cardiac tamponade. Pericardioscopy and epicardial biopsies can contribute to the aetiological differentiation of pericardial effusions.

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