The inflammation of the heart muscle is known as Myocarditis. Inflammation of the heart muscle develops after an infection happened in the other parts of the body reaches the heart muscle. Inflammation of the heart muscle also occurs after inflammatory changes in the other parts of the body due to allergic reactions to certain chemicals, radiation, medicines, etc. It can affect anyone at any age. Its symptoms include fatigue, muscle pain, joint pain and many more resembling the symptoms of flu. It is diagnosed by chest X-ray, blood tests, ECG, and many others.
How Do You Know If Your Heart Is Inflamed?
When a 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. It causes abnormal heartbeat, difficulties in breathing and chest pain. In severe cases, it causes permanent damage to the heart that results in blood clots formation, heart attack, heart failure even death.(1)
You can know that the heart is inflamed from its symptoms and diagnostic tests.
The main aspect of Myocarditis is that it can develop in any person, at any age and sometimes may progress to a dangerous state without representation of symptoms. It usually develops in the middle layer of the muscular wall of the body following an infection or allergic reaction. When symptoms appear, then they are quite similar to that of the Flu. The symptoms of Myocarditis are-
- Breathing difficulties especially during any physical activity or while lying down
- Tiredness or fatigue
- Fainting in rare cases
- Abnormal heart rate
- Pain in the joint
- Sharp or stabbing pain in the chest
- Swelling in the lower leg, joints or neck veins
- Muscular pain
- Reduced urine output
Myocarditis has to potential to get healed on its own without treatment. But certain cases are not like that. Such cases become chronic and progress for a long time leading dangerous and life-threatening events like cardiac arrest, cardiac failure, and even death.
As it is mentioned above, the disease may secretly damage the heart muscles and its electrical conductivity in a slow manner that leads to the symptoms of heart failure in a few months. In some cases, these symptoms may appear quickly revealing the inflamed condition of the heart.(2)
Diagnosis For Inflammation Of The Heart Muscle
The diagnosis of inflammation of the heart muscle or myocarditis is not easy; it requires many tests to reveal its presence with rule-out of other heart ailments. These tests involve-
Blood Tests- a blood test is evident as it reveals the signs of inflammation and infection in the body.
Chest X-Rays- this test shows any change in the anatomy of the chest and any sign of heart failure.
Echocardiogram – it is the test that involves the ultrasound imaging of the heart. It is helpful to detect any problems related to the structure or functions of the heart and adjacent vessels.
Electrocardiogram– it can detect the electrical conductivity of the heart. It shows abnormal heart rates and heart rhythms. It indicates an inflamed and damaged heart muscle.
MRI Scan– it shows images of the abnormal heart and other nearby structures more clearly.
Myocardial Biopsy – it is the test through which samples of the heart muscle can be extracted and tested to find out the abnormalities in the muscular tissue from the heart.(2)
Myocarditis is inflammation of the middle muscular wall of the heart. The inflamed condition is represented by flu-like symptoms in many cases, it can also be revealed by a diagnostic test like blood tests, electrocardiogram, chest-X ray, echocardiogram, MRI scan, and myocardial biopsy.