Indomethacin has been shown to increase virus titers and to worsen cardiac injury in the acute phase of coxsackievirus B4 murine myocarditis. The authors evaluated the effects of indomethacin on the histopathologic changes in a later phase of this disease after virus clearance. Two-day old CD1 mice were infected with coxsackievirus B4. Ten days later, surviving animals were randomized to receive indomethacin or saline intraperitoneally for 10 days. They were then euthanatized, and their hearts were examined for the presence of inflammation, necrosis, scarring, and focal thinning. Mortality was slightly higher among treated animals (7/15 versus 2/12, p = 0.3). The index of inflammation (0.6 +/- 0.5 versus 0.7 +/- 0.5) necrosis and scarring (0.4 +/- 0.5 versus 0.3 +/- 0.5) among treated and control animals, respectively, was not significantly different, but the size of involved myocardium (149742 +/- 201982 versus 35300 +/- 45413 microns2) was remarkably larger (p less than 0.05), and focal ventricular thinning (5/12 versus 0/10, p = 0.03) was encountered among indomethacin recipients exclusively. These findings indicate that indomethacin treatment in the late phase of coxsackievirus B4 myocarditis enhances myocardial damage and increases the incidence of focal ventricular thinning.