Innovative drug treatments for viral and autoimmune myocarditis

J Clin Pharmacol. 1998 Apr;38(4):295-308. doi: 10.1002/j.1552-4604.1998.tb04428.x.


Myocarditis has been shown to be a common cause of cardiomyopathy and is believed to account for 25% of all cases in human beings. Unfortunately, the disease is difficult to detect before a myopathic process ensues. Treatment of myocarditis-induced heart failure includes the standard regimen of diuretics, digoxin, angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors, and currently, beta-adrenergic blockers. Treatment of myocarditis itself is dependent on the etiology of the illness. Treatments under investigation include immunosuppressants, nonsteroidal antiinflammatory agents, immunoglobulins, immunomodulation, antiadrenergics, calcium-channel blockers, angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors, nitric oxide inhibition (e.g., aminoguanidine), and antiviral agents. Despite advances in treatment, more work needs to be done in the early detection of myocarditis. Additionally, better means need to be established for distinguishing between viral and autoimmune forms of the disease, so that appropriate treatment can be instituted.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adjuvants, Immunologic / therapeutic use
  • Adrenergic Antagonists / therapeutic use
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal / therapeutic use
  • Antiviral Agents / therapeutic use
  • Autoimmune Diseases / drug therapy*
  • Autoimmune Diseases / immunology
  • Calcium Channel Blockers / therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Immunization, Passive
  • Immunosuppressive Agents / therapeutic use
  • Myocarditis / drug therapy*
  • Myocarditis / immunology
  • Myocarditis / virology
  • Nitric Oxide / antagonists & inhibitors


  • Adjuvants, Immunologic
  • Adrenergic Antagonists
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal
  • Antiviral Agents
  • Calcium Channel Blockers
  • Immunosuppressive Agents
  • Nitric Oxide