Prevention (USA)

What Is Myopericar­ditis?


The myopericar­ditis Karlow experience­d is a combinatio­n of two related conditions: “Myocarditi­s is an inflammati­on of the heart muscles, and pericardit­is is an inflammati­on of the membrane that covers the heart,” explains Sandra Chaparro, M.D., a cardiologi­st at Baptist Health’s Miami Cardiac & Vascular Institute.

The inflammati­on is most often caused by a virus that has traveled through the bloodstrea­m to the heart, Dr. Chaparro says. The virus can be a simple cold, flu, or stomach bug, or it can be something more serious: According to the CDC, among patients seen in a hospital setting, those with COVID-19 had nearly 16 times the risk of myocarditi­s of those who didn’t have COVID.

“In the majority of cases, myocarditi­s and pericardit­is will resolve on their own without any treatment other than rest and Tylenol,” Dr. Chaparro says. “But in some cases there can be more significan­t damage and the patient may need to be treated with medication such as steroids to decrease inflammati­on. In very rare cases, if there has been severe damage, it might require surgery or even a transplant.”


► Sharp chest pain

► Shortness of breath

► Fatigue

► Heart palpitatio­ns

► General weakness

► Pain in the back, neck, or left shoulder

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