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Please add people who have, had or died as a result of Myocarditis.

Myocarditis, also known as inflammatory cardiomyopathy, is inflammation of the heart muscle or the middle layer of the heart wall, which is the myocardium. Myocarditis can affect both the heart's muscle cells and the heart's electrical system, leading to reduction in the heart's pumping function and to irregular heart rhythms.

Symptoms can include shortness of breath, chest pain, decreased ability to exercise, and an irregular heartbeat. The duration of problems can vary from hours to months. Complications may include heart failure due to dilated cardiomyopathy or cardiac arrest.

Myocarditis is most often due to a viral infection. Other causes include bacterial infections, certain medications, toxins, and autoimmune disorders. A diagnosis may be supported by an electrocardiogram (ECG), increased troponin, heart MRI, and occasionally a heart biopsy. An ultrasound of the heart is important to rule out other potential causes such as heart valve problems.


A large number of causes of myocarditis have been identified, but often a cause cannot be found. In Europe and North America, viruses are common culprits. Worldwide, however, the most common cause is Chagas' disease, an illness endemic to Central and South America that is due to infection by the protozoan Trypanosoma cruzi.

Some things that can cause myocarditis include:

  • Virus or infections have been identified such as:
    • Coxsackie B viruses, Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), Cytomegalovirus (CMV), Hepatitis C, Herpes, HIV, Parvovirus, Chlamydia (a common sexually transmitted disease), Mycoplasma (bacteria that cause a lung infection), Streptococcal (strep) bacteria, Staphylococcal (staph) bacteria, Treponema (the cause of syphilis), Borrelia (the cause of Lyme disease)
  • Fungal and parasitic infections can also cause it.
  • Other causes include certain chemicals or allergic reactions to medications or toxins like:
    • Alcohol, Drugs, Lead, Spider bites, Wasp stings, Snakebites, Chemotherapy and radiation therapy
  • An autoimmune disease that causes inflammation throughout your body, like lupus or rheumatoid arthritis, may also lead to myocarditis.

In 2013, about 1.5 million cases of acute myocarditis occurred. While people of all ages are affected, the young are most often affected. It is slightly more common in males than females. Most cases are mild.[2] In 2015 cardiomyopathy, including myocarditis, resulted in 354,000 deaths up from 294,000 in 1990. The initial descriptions of the condition are from the mid-1800s. There are fewer than 200,000 US cases per year.

What Physicians Know Today (excerpts from published references)

  • Myocarditis is an under-diagnosed cause of acute heart failure, sudden death, and chronic dilated cardiomyopathy.
  • Acute myocarditis is a rare but potentially devastating condition that is most commonly caused by viruses.
  • Myocarditis is present in 10–50% of heart biopsy samples taken from patients with acute dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM), which is an important cause of heart failure and heart transplantation, with a prevalence of 36.5 per 100 000 in the USA.
  • The extreme diversity of clinical manifestations has made the true incidence of myocarditis difficult to determine. Recent prospective postmortem data have implicated myocarditis in sudden cardiac death of young adults at rates of 8.6% to 12%.
  • Myocarditis has been linked to sudden infant death syndrome, because inflammatory infiltrates have been found on autopsies of some victims.
  • In one study myocarditis was present in 15 of the 90 (17%) of sudden, unexpected deaths of children, suggesting that the prevalence of "silent" myocarditis may be higher in the pediatric population than is generally suspected and may contribute to a significant number of sudden and unexpected deaths in children.
  • There are approximately 75 deaths per year in athletes between 13-25 years. 89% occur in males, 64% occur in females. Most deaths occur during or immediately after exercise, with causes including Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy: 36%, Coronary anomalies: 17%, Myocarditis: 6%, Arrhythmogenic Right Ventricular Dysplasia: 4%, Long QT Syndrome: 4%.
  • Myocarditis is the reason for sudden cardiac death in 5-22% of athletes < 35 years of age. For prevention of myocarditis and sudden cardiac death it is recommended to stop elite sport for 4 weeks after an unspecific infection. Whether moderate sport can be started earlier is unclear. When myocarditis is verified, athletes have to withdraw from sport for at least 6 months.


Cases of myocarditis have been documented as early as the 1600s, but the term "myocarditis", implying an inflammatory process of the myocardium, was introduced by German physician Joseph Friedrich Sobernheim in 1837. However, the term has been confused with other cardiovascular conditions, such as hypertension and ischemic heart disease. Following admonition regarding the indiscriminate use of myocarditis as a diagnosis from authorities such as British cardiologist Sir Thomas Lewis and American cardiologist and a co-founder of the American Heart Association Paul White, myocarditis was under-diagnosed.

Although myocarditis is clinically and pathologically clearly defined as "inflammation of the myocardium", its definition, classification, diagnosis, and treatment are subject to continued controversy, but endomyocardial biopsy has helped define the natural history of myocarditis and clarify clinicopathological correlations.

Notable People who died as a result of Myocarditis:

  • Amadeu Vives i Roig (November 18, 1871 Collbató-December 2, 1932 Madrid) a.k.a. Vives, Amadeo, Vives, Amadeu or Amadeo Vives was a Spanish composer, writer and impresario.
  • Norman Chaney (October 18, 1914 Cambridge-May 29, 1936 Baltimore) also known as Norman Myers Chaney or Chubby was an American actor.
  • Andy Gibb (Bee Gees) (1958-1988) Singer
  • George Michael (1963-2016) singer-songwriter
  • Annie Russell (1864-1936) actress

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