What Is The Most Common Cause Of Myocarditis?

Myocarditis refers to a condition of the heart in which the myocardium is inflamed. This condition affects the electrical system of your heart.

What Is The Most Common Cause Of Myocarditis?

What Is The Most Common Cause Of Myocarditis?

The cause of myocarditis is not known most of the times. Viral infection is thought to be the most common cause of myocarditis. There are many other possible causes, but myocarditis is a very rare condition. The possible causes may include-

Viral Infections-

  • Viral infection is thought to be the most common cause of myocarditis.
  • These infections may include the common cold, hepatitis B and C viruses and herpes simplex virus
  • Gastric infections, mononucleosis, rubella may also be responsible for causing myocarditis
  • Myocarditis is also commonly seen in people affected with HIV and AIDS

Bacterial Infections-

Many bacteria like staphylococcus, streptococcus, bacteria causing diphtheria and lyme disease etc. can cause myocarditis

Parasitic Infections-

Parasites like toxoplasma and Trypanosoma cruzi can cause myocarditis

Fungal Infections-

  • Fungal infections like mold, candida, aspergillus, histoplasma etc. can cause myocarditis
  • This is seen specifically in people with compromised immune systems.(1)

Myocarditis may also occur as a result of exposure to certain other factors. These may include-

Drugs Or Medicines-

  • Some drugs or medications that may cause allergies or toxic reactions may cause myocarditis
  • These drugs include the ones used in treatment of cancer, antibiotics, anti-seizure medications and some other drugs used in substance abuse, like cocaine

Harmful Chemicals-

Certain hazardous chemicals like carbon monoxide and radioactive substances may cause myocarditis

Other Medical Conditions-

Other medical conditions like lupus, Takayasu’s arteritis may also lead to myocarditis(1)

Complications Of Myocarditis

Mild cases of myocarditis get better with rest and/or treatment. Severe forms of myocarditis may lead to a more serious damage to the heart which may result in certain complications. These may include-

Cardiac Failure-

If left untreated, myocarditis can cause a permanent damage to the heart muscle thereby making it so weak that it cannot perform its function of pumping blood efficiently
Such severe cases may require VADs or ventricular assist devices to facilitate the pumping of blood

Cardiac Arrest Or Stroke-

  • Because of inability to pump blood due to weakened heart muscle, blood gets pooled in your heart
  • This pooled blood can form clots
  • If this clot blocks any of the heart arteries, it may result in a cardiac arrest or heart attack
  • If this clot travels to an artery that goes to the brain, it may lead to a stroke

Arrythmias-

Rapid or abnormal heart rhythms can result due to weakened heart muscle

Sudden Heart Death-

  • Some dangerous arrythmias can make your heart stop beating suddenly, also known as sudden cardiac arrest
  • If not treated on time, it can prove to be extremely fatal(1)

Prevention Of Myocarditis

Myocarditis cannot be prevented by a certain method. However, taking certain precautions can help in preventing infections that may be a probable cause of myocarditis-

  • Avoiding people who are suffering from viral, bacterial, parasitic, fungal infections. Also, if you are sick it is better to not expose others by following proper quarantine measures
  • Following a good hygiene routine like washing hands frequently, taking a shower daily, changing daily into fresh clothes, etc. can help in preventing infections
  • Practicing safe sex and avoiding multiple partners can help in keeping away from serious infections like HIV-AIDS
  • Covering your body properly while being exposed to a tick-infested area can ensure protection against tick bites and infections
  • Getting vaccinated as per the guidelines can ensure you stay protected against various infections like rubella, influenza, and other such diseases that are probable causes of myocarditis(1)

A viral infection is thought to be the most common cause of myocarditis. However, there are many probable causes of myocarditis which include various other bacterial, fungal, parasitic infections. However, though there are many probable causes, a condition like myocarditis is quite a rare occurrence.

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