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Definition of Myocarditis

  • Medical Author:
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Myocarditis: Inflammation of the myocardium, the heart muscle.

Myocarditis can be caused by a number of different conditions. The most common cause is infection of the heart muscle by a virus. The virus causes the initial heart muscle inflammation. After the initial viral infection subsides, the body's immune system continues to inflict inflammatory damage on the heart muscles, prolonging the myocarditis, a process termed autoimmunity. Other causes of myocarditis include such as a disease called sarcoidosis, various autoimmune diseases such as systemic lupus, and certain drugs.

Reviewed on 12/12/2018

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