1127 GMT December 14, 2019
Myocarditis is an inflammation of the myocardium, which is a heart muscle, express.co.uk wrote.
It is usually caused by a virus, bacteria, or even a fungal infection.
A report, published in the Journal of Hypertension, found around 20 percent of people with myocarditis go on to develop heart failure, which in severe cases can result in the person needing a heart transplant.
A spokesman for the charity BHF — British Heart Foundation, warned: “Symptoms of the condition include a pain or tightness in the chest, which can spread to other parts of the body, tiredness, flu-like symptoms and a high temperature.
“People also experience tiredness, headaches and aching muscles and joints.”
Myocarditis can be caused by many viruses, but the most common are those associated with upper respiratory tract infections, which affect the nose, sinuses and throat.
If myocarditis becomes severe, the pumping action of your heart weakens, medics warn.
Heart failure means that the heart is unable to pump blood around the body properly and usually occurs because the heart has become too weak or stiff.
The illness could cause clots also could form in the heart, leading to a stroke or heart attack.
Identifying the infection
The BHF said patients with suspected myocarditis may need to have an electrocardiogram (ECG), echocardiogram — a scan of your heart similar to an ultrasound — and various blood tests.
However, the infection is hard to identify and is often done by discounting other conditions.
Last year, Queen Mary University of London announced Professor Marelli-Berg is leading research into the disease, which has, so far, proved difficult to diagnose and treat.
This is because although the dangerous inflammation of the heart muscle seen in the disease is known to be caused by a certain type of white blood cells, called T-cells, researchers do not yet know exactly how this process occurs.
Currently, in order to diagnose someone with myocarditis, an invasive procedure has to be carried out to remove a small section of heart muscle for examination.
Professor Marelli-Berg’s research could mean this deadly condition can be diagnosed quicker using a non-invasive technique.
The BHF added: “Myocarditis is often mild and goes unnoticed, but you may need to take medicines to relieve your symptoms such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatories and sometimes antibiotics.
“If the myocarditis it is causing a problem with how well your heart pumps, you may develop the symptoms of heart failure for which you will need to take several different types of medicines.
“In very extreme cases, where there is severe damage to the heart, you may be considered for a heart transplant.”