Molecular aspects of myocarditis

Curr Opin Cardiol. 1998 May;13(3):179-84.


The mechanisms of pathogenesis of myocarditis have remained elusive. Despite the demonstration a decade ago that persistent viral infection of the myocardium occurred in many patients, a clear description of the pathologic progression has not been forthcoming. Over the past year, a number of studies have added to the data defining the crucial roles of cytokine expression in the myocardium and the aberrant induction of apoptosis. Further, a mouse model of myocarditis resulting from the myocardial expression of tumor necrosis factor-alpha has been described. In addition, the identification of the common coxsackievirus B and adenovirus receptor has offered an explanation for the puzzling observation that these highly distinct virus types both cause cardiac disease. Finally, the near-eradication of endocardial fibroelastosis associated with persistent mumps virus infection by vaccination supports the notion that coxsackievirus B and adenovirus vaccines may help reduce the incidence of myocarditis.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Animals
  • Apoptosis / genetics
  • Cardiomyopathy, Dilated / genetics
  • Cardiomyopathy, Dilated / prevention & control
  • Child
  • Cytokines / genetics
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Viral / physiology
  • Humans
  • Mice
  • Myocarditis / genetics*
  • Myocarditis / prevention & control
  • Viral Vaccines / administration & dosage
  • Virus Diseases / genetics*


  • Cytokines
  • Viral Vaccines