Acute Myocarditis in Children: An Overview of Treatment and Recent Patents

Recent Pat Inflamm Allergy Drug Discov. 2020;14(2):106-116. doi: 10.2174/1872213X14666200204103714.


Background: Pediatric myocarditis is rare but challenging. This overview summarized the current knowledge and recent patents on childhood myocarditis.

Methods: Clinical queries and keywords of "myocarditis" and "childhood" were used as search engine.

Results: Viral infections are the most common causes of acute myocarditis. Affected children often have a prodrome of fever, malaise, and myalgia. Clinical manifestations of acute myocarditis in children can be nonspecific. Some children may present with easy fatigability, poor appetite, vomiting, abdominal pain, exercise intolerance, respiratory distress/tachypnea, dyspnea at rest, orthopnea, chronic cough with wheezing, chest pain, unexplained tachycardia, hypotension, syncope, and hepatomegaly. Supraventricular arrhythmias, ventricular arrhythmias, and heart block may be present. A subset of patients have fulminant myocarditis and present with cardiovascular collapse, which may progress to severe cardiogenic shock, and even death. A high index of suspicion is crucial to its diagnosis and timely management. Cardiac magnetic resonance imaging is important in aiding clinical diagnosis while, endomyocardial biopsy remains the gold standard. The treatment consists of supportive therapy, ranging from supplemental oxygen and fluid restriction to mechanical circulatory support. Angiotensinconverting enzyme inhibitors, angio-tensin II receptor blockers, β-blockers, and aldosterone antagonists might be used for the treatment of heart failure while, immunosuppression treatments remain controversial. There are a few recent patents targeting prevention or treatment of viral myocarditis, including an immunogenic composition comprising a PCV-2 antigen, glutathione-S-transferase P1, neuregulins, NF-[kappa] B inhibitor, a pharmaceutical composition which contains 2-amino-2- (2- (4-octyl phenyl) - ethyl) propane 1,3-diol, a composition containing pycnojenol, Chinese herbal concoctions, and a Korean oral rapamycin. Evidence of their efficacy is still lacking.

Conclusion: This article reviews the current literature regarding etiology, clinical manifestations, diagnosis, and management of acute myocarditis in children.

Keywords: Arrhythmia; chest pain; endomyocardial biopsy; heart failure; respiratory distress; viral.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

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