Paradigm shift in myocarditis treatment

J Cardiol. 2024 Mar;83(3):201-210. doi: 10.1016/j.jjcc.2023.08.009. Epub 2023 Aug 18.


Although most cases of myocarditis are self-limiting with a gradual improvement in cardiac function, the involvement of myocarditis in sudden cardiac death among children and young adults remains substantial, with rates of 3-17 % and 8.6-12 %, respectively. Moreover, the risk of developing chronic dilated cardiomyopathy ranges from 21 % to 30 % in all cases confirmed by biopsy. Current therapeutic strategies for myocarditis and its complications range from standard supportive care for heart failure and arrhythmias to etiologically oriented, case-based therapeutic options. For example, immunosuppression is indicated only in certain forms of acute myocarditis with clinical or endomyocardial biopsy evidence of immune checkpoint inhibitor-induced myocarditis and autoimmune diseases, including giant cell myocarditis, eosinophilic myocarditis, vasculitis, or cardiac sarcoidosis. However, our views on myocarditis treatment have changed considerably over the past two decades, thanks to the emergence of regenerative cells/tissues as well as drug and gene delivery systems. Cell-based therapies are now growing in popularity in any field of medicine. Studies evaluating the therapeutic efficacy of different stem cells in the treatment of acute myocarditis and its chronic complications have shown that although the experimental characteristics varied from study to study, in general, these strategies reduced inflammation and myocardial fibrosis while preventing myocarditis-induced systolic dysfunction and adverse remodeling in animal models.

Keywords: Cell therapy; Dilated cardiomyopathy; Macrophage; Myocarditis; Stem cells.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biopsy
  • Cardiomyopathies* / pathology
  • Cardiomyopathy, Dilated*
  • Child
  • Humans
  • Inflammation
  • Myocarditis* / etiology
  • Myocarditis* / therapy
  • Myocardium / pathology