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      When an MI Is Not an MI: A Case of Varicella Zoster Myocarditis

      , ,

      Cardiology

      S. Karger AG

      Varicella zoster, Myocarditis, Troponin

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          Abstract

          A sixteen-year-old male presented with symptoms and investigations suggestive of acute myocardial infarction. The patient had suffered from a varicella zoster infection 5 days prior to presentation. Varicella myocarditis was suspected and diagnosed following treatment and positive varicella serology. This case highlights a rare but serious cardiac presentation of a common condition.

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          Most cited references 5

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          Outcome of acute fulminant myocarditis in children.

          To highlight clinical features and outcome of acute fulminant myocarditis (AFM) in children. Diagnostic criteria were (1) the presence of severe and acute heart failure; (2) left ventricular dysfunction on echocardiography; (3) recent history of viral illness; and (4) no history of cardiomyopathy. Eleven children were included between 1998 and 2003, at a median age of 1 (0 to 9) year. Their mean left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) was 22 (SD 9)% at presentation. A virus was identified in five patients: human parvovirus B19 (n = 2), Epstein-Barr (n = 1), varicella zoster (n = 1), and coxsackie (n = 1). The median intensive care unit course was 13 (2-34) days. Intravenous inotropic support was required by nine patients and eight were mechanically ventilated. All patients received corticosteroid, associated with intravenous immunoglobulin in seven. Five patients experienced cardiocirculatory arrest that was successfully resuscitated in four. At a median follow up of 58.7 (33.8-83.1) months, the 10 survivors are asymptomatic with normalised LVEF. Despite a severe presentation, the outcome of AFM is favourable. Aggressive symptomatic management is warranted and heart transplantation should be considered only when maximal supportive therapy does not lead to improvement.
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            Cardiac troponin T: a marker in the diagnosis of acute myocarditis in children.

            This study was conducted to assess the use of serum cardiac troponin T (cTnT) level as a noninvasive indicator to diagnose acute myocarditis in children. Noninvasive conventional methods often fail to diagnose myocarditis, A median cTnT level of 0.088 ng/ml (0.04-3.11) was reported in pediatric patients with acute myocarditis in our previous study. Hence, we attempted to determine the cutfoff level of cTnT to diagnose acute myocarditis in children. Pediatric patients with clinically suspected myocarditis or dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) and a control group were recruited. History, physical examination, elctrocardiogram, chest roentgenogram, echocardiogram, cTnT level, and/or endomyocardial biopsy and clinical course were studied. The gold standard to diagnose acute myocarditis was endomyocardial biopsy proved according to the Dallas criteria and/or recovery from cardiovascular problems within 6 months of follow-up. Forty-three patients were admitted due to cardiovascular problems from primary myocardial dysfunction. Twenty-four patients were diagnosed as acute myocarditis (group 1), 19 were idiopathic chronic DCM (group 2), and 21 patients had moderate to large ventricular septal defect and congestive heart failure (group 3). Median cTnT level was statistically higher in (group 1) compared to groups 2 and 3. Ejection fraction (EF) and left ventricular end diastolic dimension (LVEDd) z score of acute myocarditis were 38.5% (range, 21-67) and 1.3 (range, -0.8-3.0), respectively, which were significantly better than DCM [28.0% (range, 17-45) and 6.0 (range, 2.0-10.0)]. The cutoff point of cTnT level to diagnose acute myocarditis was 0.052 ng/ml (sensitivity, 71%; specificity, 86%). cTnT level, EF, and LVEDd z score did not predict short-term outcomes of patients. In acute myocarditis, cTnT level and EF were significantly higher and LVEDd z score was significantly lower than in DCM. However, the three parameters had no significant effect on outcomes of the patients. Our data show that cardiac a cTnT level of 0.052 ng/ml is an appropriate cutoff point for the diagnosis of acute myocarditis.
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              • Record: found
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              Cardiac complications in children following infection with varicella zoster virus.

              Infection with varicella zoster virus, leading to chicken pox in susceptible hosts, is usually a benign self-limiting disease conferring immunity in those affected. Cardiac complications are rare, but when present may lead to severe morbidity or mortality. We have recently encountered three children, all of whom developed significant cardiac complications secondary to infection with varicella. Myocarditis has long been associated with such infection. The pathological mechanism is presumed similar to other cardiotropic viruses, where both direct cytopathic and secondary auto-immune effects contribute to myocardial cellular destruction and ventricular dysfunction. Complications include arrhythmias and progression to dilated cardiomyopathy. Pericarditis, and secondary pericardial effusion, related to infection with the virus is most commonly associated with secondary bacterial infiltration. Both cardiac tamponade and chronic pericardial constriction may result. Endocarditis complicating varicella has only been described in the last fifteen years, and is associated with the emergence of virulent strains of both streptococcus and staphylococcus, the two organisms most commonly associated with endocarditis. The exact mechanism by which varicella causes secondary bacterial endocarditis remains unclear. Whilst cardiac complications of infection with the varicella zoster virus are rare, the resulting complications are potentially life threatening. Evidence of varicella-induced carditis must be aggressively pursued in any child with signs of acute cardiac decompensation in whom chicken pox is confirmed or suspected.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                CRD
                Cardiology
                10.1159/issn.0008-6312
                Cardiology
                S. Karger AG
                0008-6312
                1421-9751
                2008
                February 2008
                28 August 2007
                : 109
                : 3
                : 193-195
                Affiliations
                St. Luke’s Hospital, Kilkenny, Ireland
                Article
                106682 Cardiology 2008;109:193–195
                10.1159/000106682
                17726320
                © 2007 S. Karger AG, Basel

                Copyright: All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be translated into other languages, reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, microcopying, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher. Drug Dosage: The authors and the publisher have exerted every effort to ensure that drug selection and dosage set forth in this text are in accord with current recommendations and practice at the time of publication. However, in view of ongoing research, changes in government regulations, and the constant flow of information relating to drug therapy and drug reactions, the reader is urged to check the package insert for each drug for any changes in indications and dosage and for added warnings and precautions. This is particularly important when the recommended agent is a new and/or infrequently employed drug. Disclaimer: The statements, opinions and data contained in this publication are solely those of the individual authors and contributors and not of the publishers and the editor(s). The appearance of advertisements or/and product references in the publication is not a warranty, endorsement, or approval of the products or services advertised or of their effectiveness, quality or safety. The publisher and the editor(s) disclaim responsibility for any injury to persons or property resulting from any ideas, methods, instructions or products referred to in the content or advertisements.

                Page count
                Figures: 1, References: 10, Pages: 3
                Categories
                Novel Insights from Clinical Experience

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