Myocarditis in children: causes, symptoms and treatment

Myocarditis in children: causes, symptoms and treatment

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The other day, while on duty, I came across a case of myocarditis. The parents of the child with this process was the first time they heard this clinical picture. I thought it would be convenient to talk about him in an article. What you are dealing with is about this disease. This is the myocarditis in children.

As its name suggests, myocarditis is an entity characterized by inflammation of the myocardium. I remind you that the myocardium is, properly speaking, the heart muscle.

The main one is infectious. There are some viruses that can affect the myocardium. Among them, the Coxsackie B virus stands out, which belongs to the family of enteroviruses (very famous agents, because they can cause very frequent diseases, such as herpangina or hand-foot-mouth syndrome). Other causes: Chagas disease (especially common in Latin America, tuberculosis, autoimmune diseases, etc.

These children usually have nonspecific symptoms, similar to those of any viral process (fever, malaise, respiratory symptoms, hyporexia). If the heart muscle involvement progresses, chest pain, shortness of breath, edema of the feet, palpitations, etc. may appear. The usual thing is that this symptomatology is gradually establishing itself.

The clinical suspicion must be based on an electrocardiogram, a biochemical study (we will be able to see an elevation of two proteins present in the heart muscle: creatin-kinase and troponin) and an imaging test (echocardiography / resonance of the heart: they will help us to make a exact idea of ​​the extent of inflammation).

  • As in other viral infections, we will use anti-inflammatories.
  • If there is significant heart failure, diuretics, antihypertensives, fluid restriction, and a low-salt diet will be used.
  • The most serious conditions require admission for monitoring in Pediatric Intensive Care Units.

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