Diagnosis and management of pediatric myocarditis

Paediatr Drugs. 2002;4(3):171-81. doi: 10.2165/00128072-200204030-00004.


Myocarditis is an insidious inflammatory disorder of the myocardium. As a clinical entity, it has been recognized for two centuries, but it defies traditional diagnostic tests. A greater understanding of the immune response underlying the pathobiology of the disorder can lead to a more rational therapeutic approach. The presentation, course and therapeutic options appear to be different in the pediatric compared with the adult population. An understanding of the difference between fulminant and acute progressive myocarditis has led to successful treatment strategies. A variety of new therapies are available, including antiviral agents, immunosuppression, and modulation of the biological response to inflammation. The specific question for patients with myocarditis is whether regimens designed to reduce or eliminate inflammation can provide clinical benefits compared with conventional heart failure therapy. This review highlights pathological mechanisms, modalities of diagnosis, and novel therapies which may improve outcomes.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Humans
  • Myocarditis / diagnosis*
  • Myocarditis / physiopathology
  • Myocarditis / therapy*