Molecular biology and pathogenesis of viral myocarditis

Annu Rev Pathol. 2008:3:127-55. doi: 10.1146/annurev.pathmechdis.3.121806.151534.


Myocarditis is a cardiac disease associated with inflammation and injury of the myocardium. Several viruses have been associated with myocarditis in humans. However, coxsackievirus B3 is still considered the dominant etiological agent. The observed pathology in viral myocarditis is a result of cooperation or teamwork between viral processes and host immune responses at various stages of disease. Both innate and adaptive immune responses are crucial determinants of the severity of myocardial damage, and contribute to the development of chronic myocarditis and dilated cardiomyopathy following acute viral myocarditis. Advances in genomics and proteomics, and in the use of informatics and biostatistics, are allowing unbiased initial evaluations that can be the basis for testable hypotheses about virus pathogenesis and new therapies.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Autoimmune Diseases / immunology
  • Autoimmune Diseases / physiopathology
  • Coxsackievirus Infections / complications*
  • Coxsackievirus Infections / immunology
  • Coxsackievirus Infections / pathology
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Enterovirus B, Human / pathogenicity
  • Enterovirus B, Human / physiology*
  • Female
  • Genomics
  • Host-Pathogen Interactions
  • Humans
  • Immunity, Innate
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Mice
  • Middle Aged
  • Molecular Biology
  • Myocarditis / immunology
  • Myocarditis / pathology
  • Myocarditis / virology*
  • Proteomics