Myocarditis can affect anyone

Myocarditis can affect anyone

MYOCARDITIS is an inflammation of the heart muscle commonly due to a viral infection of the heart, said Associate Professor Wong Keng Yean.

The senior consultant in KK Women's and Children's Hospital's (KKH) cardiology service in the department of paediatric subspecialties said that the inflammation can result in poor pumping function of the heart.

Patients face the risk of severe heart failure and early death.

Said Prof Wong: "Nur had swelling in her limbs, which was a result of the heart failure."

The New Paper reported in January that Prof Wong and two other KKH doctors had presented a report on a retrospective series of cases of myocarditis at the 5th World Congress of Paediatric Cardiology and Cardiac Surgery in Cairns, Australia, in 2009.

The report said that KKH had identified and studied 28patients with myocarditis, aged between two months and 14 years and 5 months.

Seventy-one per cent of them required admission to the children's intensive care unit.

The mortality rate was 30per cent, and 75 per cent of the survivors went on to have normal cardiac function upon recovery.

Another TNP report in May 2010 said that "acute myocarditis is so rare that it strikes between one and 10 people among 100,000".

In April last year, TheStraits Times identified tiredness, an irregular heartbeat, chest pains, shortness of breath, giddiness and fever as symptoms of the condition.

Possible treatment options include bed rest, a half-year avoidance of physical activity, medication and the use of pacemakers.

Online medical portal SingHealth stated that "the treatment goal is to relieve symptoms of heart failure" for "there is no effective proven treatment for myocarditis".

Though rare, myocarditis can affect any person, regardless of age.


This article was first published in The New Paper.

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