Myocarditis is a disease that we are still learning so much about, from its causes to the nature of the treatment, to what factors put you at an increased risk.

Like all heart conditions, a quick diagnosis will help to improve the recovery and management of the condition. Here are some signs to watch out for that may suggest the presence of myocarditis.

What is Myocarditis?

Myocarditis is the inflammation of the heart muscle. Specifically, it is an inflammation in the thicker myocardium layer as opposed to the smaller endocardium and epicardium layers between it.

There are different levels of inflammation, which can vary from recoverable, to painful, to exceptionally dangerous. According to a New England Journal of Medicine study, up to 20 per cent of people who suddenly die do so as a result of myocarditis.

Whilst there are cases where a cause cannot definitively be known, myocarditis is most commonly caused by a viral infection.

Spotting The Signs

The heart symptoms of myocarditis are mixed and sometimes difficult to spot specifically, as some symptoms may reflect the root cause of the heart inflammation.

The most common symptoms, however, will typically develop within two weeks of contracting the infection that caused it and can include a stabbing chest pain, which can spread across the body.

Other symptoms involve shortness of breath, even when resting, an abnormal heartbeat and heart palpitations, fatigue and fever.

Other symptoms may also be seen based on the illness that caused it, and are usually helpful in determining the cause and subsequent course of treatment.