Myocardial inflammation is usually infectious, rheumatic, toxic or infectious-allergic in nature. Pathology occurs in an acute or chronic form, can affect only the muscular membrane of the heart or spread to the pericardium. The signs, severity and prognosis of the course of the disease depend on many factors, including: causes, gender, lifestyle.
Why does myocarditis develop
The main part of patients with myocarditis: young people under the age of 45. Women suffer more often, but their pathology proceeds in a milder form due to the peculiarities of the endocrine system. Since the chronic form of myocarditis is rarely accompanied by characteristic symptoms, patients often seek medical help in advanced stages, when the inflammatory process is complicated by serious arrhythmia, heart failure or vascular thrombosis. In the acute form, there is shortness of breath, severe swelling of the legs, sharp attacks of arrhythmia. Like most cardiac pathologies, this one significantly increases the risk of premature death.
- In most cases, myocarditis is triggered by a viral or bacterial infection: sore throat, flu, diphtheria, measles or others. Adenoviruses, streptococci, herpes, pathogenic fungi, salmonella, trichinella can provoke infectious heart damage.
- Less often, myocarditis develops due to connective tissue diseases, autoimmune processes: with systemic lupus erythematosus, rheumatoid arthritis, vasculitis.
- Ionizing radiation, strong toxins in the composition of alcohol, medicines can also provoke inflammation of the muscular lining of the heart.
- Allergic systemic reactions of the body are another group of causes of cardiac disease.
- Myocarditis, the causes of which cannot be established, is called idiopathic.
Depending on the features of development, focal and diffuse forms of the disease are distinguished. Myocardial inflammation can have mild, moderate and severe severity, progress and relapse.
The nature and symptoms of the disease
With myocarditis, there is an increase in the size of the heart, a persistent decrease in blood pressure, insufficient blood circulation. Patients suffer from shortness of breath, chronic exhaustion, fatigue quickly, dizziness and physical weakness. Symptoms may be transient or present permanently.
In most cases, the disease is accompanied by rhythmic disturbances: increased or decreased pulse, tachycardia, bradycardia. The heart may be pounding violently or seem to freeze in the chest. Some patients have dull pains in the chest area.
In acute myocarditis, a disease complicated by heart failure, the skin of the face turns pale, acquires a bluish hue. The cervical veins swell, the temperature can rise for a long time to subfebrile. Interruptions in the work of the heart are accompanied by increased sweating, respiratory disorders, vegetative signs: a feeling of crawling goosebumps, numbness of the hands or feet. Patients may suffer from congestion in the lungs. In severe cases, attacks of atrial fibrillation occur, life-threatening.
In chronic myocarditis, the symptoms are often blurred, poorly expressed. Periodically, patients experience attacks of bradycardia or rapid heart rate, dizziness, weakness. They can get tired quickly with physical exertion, fast walking.
Rheumatic myocarditis is often accompanied by articular symptoms: aches, mobility disorders, swelling of the joints, increased body temperature. The malignant course of pathology has a rapid progressive character, accompanied by expansion of the heart muscle, pericardial lesion.
In all cardiac patients, the clinical picture is individual. Therefore, it is possible to diagnose “myocarditis” only after a comprehensive examination. With long-term inflammation, organic lesions of the heart increase: myocardial cardiosclerosis is formed with a significant decrease in organ functions.
Diagnosis of pathology
At the initial appointment, a cardiologist examines patients, fixing the presence of edema of the neck, lower extremities, changes in the condition of the skin, pulse, respiratory processes. The collection of anamnesis is supported by the results of instrumental studies:
- lung radiography;
- magnetic resonance imaging.
Laboratory blood tests are also carried out, including biochemical, immunological, bacterial culture. If necessary, the examination scheme may involve other diagnostic procedures, for example, histological analysis of myocardial tissue samples.
Treatment of myocarditis
Acute illness is treated in a hospital. Patients are prescribed bed rest or semi-bed rest, courses of infusion therapy to restore normal blood circulation and stabilize the heart condition. The treatment regimen includes simultaneous administration of drugs that suppress infectious pathogens, autoimmune aggression. To compensate for the pathological process, medications based on glucocorticoid hormones, calcium preparations, ATP, inosine, antioxidants, vitamins, anticoagulants, and means to improve metabolism in the heart muscle are also required.
Patients with chronic myocarditis require constant follow-up and regular courses of drug therapy according to individual schemes.
Any form of the disease requires a therapeutic diet. Apply the principles of the heart table: a limited amount of salt, sugars, the exclusion of animals and trans fats, fried, smoked foods. Fractional meals in moderate portions, a large amount of vegetables are recommended. It is also recommended to buy vitamin and mineral preparations.
The prognosis of the course of the disease depends on the causes. With uncomplicated infectious or allergic myocarditis, a complete cure is possible. With severe background pathologies, the inflammatory process often progresses. Elderly and physically weakened people have a higher risk of complications, relapses and deaths.