Pediatr Emerg Care. 2014 Nov;30(11):832-5; quiz 836-8. doi: 10.1097/PEC.0000000000000272.


Myocarditis is an inflammatory disease of the heart that can cause devastating disease in otherwise healthy children. Inciting agents such as viral infection cause direct damage to the myocardial cells, which triggers an inflammatory response that enhances myocardial toxicity and associated morbidity. Severe cases typically present with respiratory distress and cardiovascular collapse, whereas subclinical cases are unnoticed by the medical community. The initial workup in suspected cases should include an electrocardiogram, chest radiograph, and cardiac troponin T. Treatment is concentrated on hemodynamic stabilization with optimization of heart failure management, dysrhythmia protocol, and supportive therapy. The purpose of this review was to provide the emergency medicine practitioner a concise and current review of the basic pathophysiology as well as a functional and evidence-based approach to the diagnosis and treatment of myocarditis in the pediatric population.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

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