What Are Its Effects?
The inflammation of the heart muscle affects the middle layer of muscle tissue, between the endocardium (the smooth inner lining of the heart valves and chambers) and the pericardium (the double layered outer membrane that surrounds the heart).
A person with myocarditis may experience no symptoms. It may only be diagnosed after detection during an electrocardiogram.
In other cases, the condition may cause moderate to severe chest pain (perhaps even mimicking a heart attack), fever, joint pain, fatigue, palpitations or rapid heartbeat, decreased urination, fainting or dizziness, and even sudden death.
Infants with Myocarditis may show symptoms such as fever, cyanosis (decreased oxygen levels), reluctance to feed, and/or breathing problems. Myocarditis does damage to the muscle cells of the heart. This may result in a disorder known as Dilated Cardiomyopathy, in which the ventricles, or pumping chambers of the heart, become enlarged, sometimes resulting in congestive heart failure.
Myocarditis can cause irregular heartbeats, severe abnormal heart rhythms (ventricular tachycardia) and heart block, in which the heart rate is very slow and pumping of the heart chambers becomes out of synch. It may also lead to Pericarditis - the inflammation of the heart's outer membrane with a fluid collection outside the heart.