Our leading HCA UK heart consultants diagnose, treat and support people with myocarditis

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Myocarditis is a condition where the heart muscle becomes inflamed. The condition is not affected by lifestyle and it cannot be prevented. While many people recover from the condition, it can lead to heart failure in rare cases.

Need to know

Myocarditis can be brought on by a viral or bacterial infection, an auto immune disease or unknown causes. People usually develop symptoms around two weeks after the initial illness. Symptoms may include:

  • chest pain and tightness, which may spread across the body
  • shortness of breath
  • finding it hard to breathe
  • feelings of exhaustion
  • flu-like symptoms
  • palpitations

Your consultant will discuss your symptoms with you and help to make a diagnosis. If you've had persistent symptoms for some time, they may order the following tests:

  • an electrocardiogram (ECG) to show abnormal heart rhythm
  • blood tests, which might confirm the infection
  • an echocardiogram to show up muscle damage
  • a cardiac MRI or a FDG PET scan
Your consultant will discuss treatment options with you and help to determine the best approach. In many cases, symptoms will either resolve on their own, or with the use of antibiotics and anti-inflammatory medicine. If myocarditis has caused extensive heart muscle and tissue damage, you may need medicines or cardiac devices to prevent or treat heart failure.

Patient stories

This content is intended for general information only and does not replace the need for personal advice from a qualified health professional.