Myocarditis— also known as inflammatory cardiomyopathy— is inflammation of the heart muscle. This condition is a life-threatening one, which may progress slowly or quickly, and can result in cardiac arrest. Inflammation of the heart muscle limits the heart’s ability to pump. Myocarditis is believed to be responsible for five to 20 percent of all cases of sudden death in young adults. Research shows that myocarditis is the most common cardiac pathological finding in HIV patients (present in 50 percent or more of HIV patients). Keep reading to find out more about myocarditis.

1. Causes of myocarditis

Most cases of myocarditis occur in otherwise healthy adults, and rapid progression of the condition marks many cases. There are many potential causes of myocarditis including:

  • Viral infection
  • Cytomegalovirus, Hepatitis C, Herpes, HIV, and Parvovirus, among others
  • Bacterial infection (e.g., Borrelia (Lyme disease), chlamydia, mycoplasma, streptococcal, staphylococcal)
  • Certain medications (e.g., chemotherapy and radiation therapy)
  • Toxins (e.g., metal poisons, snake bites, spider bites)
  • Autoimmune disorders (e.g., lupus, rheumatoid arthritis)

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