Update on myocarditis in children

Marla C. Levine, Darren Klugman, Stephen J. Teach

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

53 Scopus citations


Purpose of Review: Myocarditis is an uncommon pediatric illness, and it is frequently missed by medical personnel. It often masquerades as more common pediatric illnesses such as respiratory distress or gastrointestinal disease. Given that myocarditis accounts for 12% of sudden cardiac death among adolescents and young adults, the suspicion of this illness in the differential diagnosis of children presenting with nonspecific symptomatology and disease progression can be lifesaving. Recent Findings: Historically, the diagnosis of myocarditis required endomyocardial biopsy. More recently ancillary diagnostic modalities have been used to help make the diagnosis less invasively. The use of laboratory testing, echocardiography, and cardiac MRI can now make the diagnosis in the absence of invasive biopsy and can help improve the diagnostic yield when biopsy is performed. Additionally, with an improved understanding of the pathophysiology of this disease, research has focused on novel therapeutic interventions such as immunoglobulin therapy and immunosuppressive therapy in the care of the patient with myocarditis. Summary: Myocarditis is a challenging diagnosis to make. With advent of newer diagnostic modalities and an improved understanding of the disease and its progression, there is a genuine hope that outcomes of pediatric myocarditis will be improved. The first step, however, is for medical providers to consider this entity in the differential diagnosis of patients with concerning presentation or illness history.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)278-283
Number of pages6
JournalCurrent opinion in pediatrics
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Children
  • Diagnosis
  • Myocarditis
  • Treatment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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