What is Myocarditis?

Myocarditis is an inflammation of the heart muscle (myocardium). Myocarditis can affect your heart muscle and your heart's electrical system, reducing your heart's ability to pump and causing rapid or abnormal heart rhythms.

A viral infection usually causes myocarditis, but it can result from a reaction to a drug or can be related too an inflammatory condition.

Signs and symptoms may include chest pain, fatigue, shortness of breath, and arrhythmias.

Severe myocarditis can weaken your heart so that the rest of your body doesn't get enough blood.

Warning Signs and Symptoms

Common myocarditis signs and symptoms include:

  • Chest pain

  • Rapid or abnormal heart rhythms

  • Shortness of breath, at rest or during physical activity

  • Fluid retention with swelling of your legs, ankles and feet

  • Fatigue

  • Other signs and symptoms of a viral infection, such as a headache, body aches, joint pain, fever, a sore throat or diarrhea