Acute viral myocarditis and acute pericarditis are self-limiting conditions that run a benign course and that may not involve symptoms that lead to medical assessment. However, ventricular arrhythmia is frequent in viral myocarditis. Myocarditis is thought to account for a large proportion of sudden cardiac deaths in young people without prior structural heart disease. Identification of acute myocarditis either with or without pericarditis is therefore important. However, therapeutic interventions are limited and nonspecific. Identifying those at greatest risk of a life-threatening arrhythmia is critical to reducing the mortality. This review summarizes current understanding of this challenging area in which many questions remain.
Keywords: Acute pericarditis; CMR; Ventricular arrhythmia; Viral myocarditis.
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