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Minerva Cardiology and Angiology 2021 Oct 29

DOI: 10.23736/S2724-5683.21.05732-X

Copyright © 2021 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English

Management of myocarditis in clinical practice

Anna BARITUSSIO 1, Andrea S. GIORDANI 1, Stefania RIZZO 2, Giulia MASIERO 1, Sabino ILICETO 1, Renzo MARCOLONGO 3, Alida L. CAFORIO 1

1 Cardiology, Department of Cardiac, Thoracic, Vascular Sciences and Public Health, University of Padua and Azienda Ospedale Università Padova, Padua, Italy; 2 Cardiovascular Pathology Unit, Department of Cardiac, Thoracic and Vascular Sciences and Public Health, University of Padua and Azienda Ospedale Università Padova, Padua, Italy; 3 Haematology and Clinical Immunology, Department of Medicine, University of Padua and Azienda Ospedale Università Padova, Padua, Italy


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Myocarditis is an inflammatory heart muscle disease characterised by heterogeneous clinical presentation and outcome. Clinical heterogeneity of myocarditis, ranging from acute onset chest pain with electrocardiographic changes resembling an acute coronary syndrome, to arrhythmic storm and chronic decompensated heart failure, makes diagnosis challenging. A correct diagnosis is however key to proper patients’ management and should always be aimed at. Although a definite diagnosis is only provided by endomyocardial biopsy, the European Society of Cardiology task force on myocardial and pericardial diseases provided specific criteria for the diagnosis of clinically suspected myocarditis, which has been facilitated by the advent of non invasive imaging tests (i.e. cardiovascular magnetic resonance based myocardial tissue characterization). Due to the heterogeneous presentation and disease course of myocarditis, a tailored treatment would be the best strategy, but a standardised management is still not available. Over the years, however, new, promising, therapies, such as anti-viral and immune-suppressive treatment, have come side by side to the standard pharmacological heart treatment, i.e. anti-heart failure medications. In this paper we will review the basic principles of myocarditis management in clinical practice, including diagnostic work-up, conventional and disease-specific therapy and patients’ follow-up.


KEY WORDS: Myocarditis; Endomyocardial biopsy; Immunosuppression

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