Can Pneumonia Cause Myocarditis?

Pneumonia is an infectious disease of the alveolar sac of the lungs. It is caused by bacteria, virus and other micro-organisms. Its symptoms may range from mild to life-threatening events. It can occur at any age. Myocarditis is an inflammatory disease of the heart muscle. It usually occurs following an infection. It impairs the contraction and relaxation process of the heart muscle that affects the pumping action of the heart. It is usually a mild disease that clears off in few days without medications. Pneumonia is sometimes associated with the appearance of myocarditis.

Can Pneumonia Cause Myocarditis?

Pneumonia is associated with Myocarditis. It is reported in research studies that mycoplasma pneumonia infection causes Myocarditis in young patients. The causative organisms of pneumonia pass from the lungs to the heart muscles and cause inflammation of the heart muscle. Pneumonia is an infectious disease and if it is not treated or managed well, it may lead to infection in the heart muscles. In recent studies, it was noted that histological, clinical and electrographic study of the myocardium (middle layer of the heart muscle that encloses the heart) represents inflammation in pneumonia. Although pneumonia is caused by other microbes too such as bacteria, virus and other fungi, mycoplasma pneumonia is more evident to cause myocardium inflammation leading to Myocarditis.(3)

Myocarditis

When the heart gets inflamed, then this condition is called Myocarditis. This disease specifically affects the middle layer of the heart muscle that encloses the entire heart. It affects the contraction and relaxation of the heart that disrupts the pumping action of the heart; when the heart is unable to pump blood to the rest of the body, the oxygen level drops in the body leading to various symptoms. Most symptoms are similar to those of Flu.

In most patients of Myocarditis, virus causes inflammation in the heart muscle. Infection by bacteria, fungus, and parasites that affect other parts of the body may be passed to the heart muscle and can cause Myocarditis. Those individuals who have low immunity or autoimmunity may catch Myocarditis. Those people, who are regularly exposed to environmental toxins like alcohol, lead, etc. or chemicals or radiation, medicine such as penicillin, etc. are more at risk of developing Myocarditis. Diseases like lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, can also lead to Myocarditis.

The patient of Myocarditis feel short of breath, tired all the time, fever, abnormal heartbeat, pain in the muscles and joints and others similar to that of flu.(2)

Pneumonia

Pneumonia is an infectious disease of lungs. The causative organisms of pneumonia are bacteria, virus or fungi. Pneumonia caused by bacteria is the most common type of infection in adults.

Pneumonia leads to the inflammation of alveoli or air sacs in the lungs. The air sacs get filled with pus or fluid that causes difficulty in breathing. It can be mild or life-threatening. It can develop in anyone at any age.

Pneumonia can be caused by-

Bacteria- the causative bacteria for pneumonia can be streptococcus pneumonia, Legionella pneumophila and chlamydophilla pneumonia

Virus- respiratory virus sometimes induces pneumonia in people who are young or old. Viral pneumonia is usually milder and short durational than bacterial pneumonia.

Mycoplasma-mycoplasma causes mild pneumonia that develops in old people and young adults.

Fungus- this type of pneumonia develops in individuals who have a weak immune system and chronic diseases. In the patients of AIDS, fungal pneumonia is the first infection that develops after HIV virus infection.

Pneumonia causes symptoms like congestion in the chest, coughing, breathing difficulties, low-grade fever, tiredness, chest pain, etc.(1)

Conclusion

Myocarditis develops usually following another infectious disease. This happens because the infection from other parts of the body may travel to the heart muscle and cause inflammation. Not all the types of pneumonia are known to cause myocarditis, but mycoplasma pneumonia infection is found to induce Myocarditis.

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