Understand what myocarditis is and why heart disease occurs

Understand what myocarditis is and why heart disease occurs

Heart disease is among the leading causes of death in the world, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). Caring for the heart and updating routine checkups are essential attitudes for all people.

Cardiovascular disease can increase by 30% in cold periods of the year, especially at temperatures below 14 ° C. People between the ages of 75 and 84 are the people who have the most heart complications and are considered to be at risk.

Strokes (strokes) also occur 20% more often in the winter, and there is a 5% increase in cases of aortic dissection – the wall of an artery that branches off from the heart deteriorates and eventually ruptures or separates.

According to SIH/SUS (Hospital Information System for the Unified Health System), there was a 36.8% increase in the total number of patients hospitalized in 2021 during the months from June to September.

Among the problems is myocarditis, a disease more common in children, pregnant women and patients with weakened immune systems.

Myocarditis is characterized by inflammation of the heart muscle, known as the myocardium, which is responsible for pumping oxygenated blood throughout the body.

the reasons

The disease can be caused by a number of aggressive factors, but the most common are viral infections.

For cardiologist and Professor of Cardiovascular Surgery at Unifesp (Federal University of São Paulo), Diego Jaya, everyone is at risk of developing myocarditis: “It can be caused by a series of viruses, through [quimioterápicos são alguns exemplos] And because of rheumatic and immune diseases such as lupus.”

Gaia also explains the virus’s action in the heart. “The virus triggers an immune reaction in the heart and leads to inflammation of the cells responsible for muscle contraction or their electrical system. A heart with poor blood pumping can have a reduced heart rate. Arrhythmia can also occur and is often dangerous.”

He explains that the decreased pumping process can also harm blood flow to other organs, leading to kidney and liver failure.

Some viruses are recognized as possible causes, including:

• Coxsackie B
SARS-CoV-2

• HIV
The flu
• Human herpes 6
Parvovirus

In the United States and other developed countries, myocarditis is closely related to parvovirus B19 and human herpes virus. In developing countries, such as Brazil, the disease is often associated with rheumatic myocarditis, Chagas disease, or AIDS, as described in the MSD Manual. Excessive alcohol consumption also leads to disease.

symptoms

Patients can progress from asymptomatic to more serious consequences, depending on the progression and condition of the condition.

The signs are variable and the most common are: acute failure, irregular growth of the heart to pump blood to other organs, chest pain, fatigue, fever, shortness of breath, irregular heartbeat and heart palpitations, headache, swelling of the legs and sudden death. .

Myocarditis can be acute, subacute, or chronic, according to the MDS Manual.

Acute – lasts only a few days.
• Subacute – lasts for weeks or months.
• Chronic – when treatment is not resolved.

diagnose

Diagnosis is made through clinical analysis by a cardiologist and examinations. The duration of the disease and the general state of health depend on each patient.

The specialist advises that there are different methods of diagnosing the disease. Electrocardiograms, blood tests that measure inflammation [PCR e VHS]Blood tests, which measure damage to the heart muscle [troponina — enzimas liberadas após alguma lesão no coração]EKG, which shows reduced heart strength, MRI of the heart and sometimes a biopsy for these cases.”

treatment or treatment

Treatment depends on the clinical condition of the patient, and is evaluated after the results of the tests. It can be done with anti-inflammatories, but in more weakened patients, as in the acute stage, there are restrictions on physical exercise, driving or performing any other activity that generates an effect. Preferably the person relaxes.

“Most cases are self-healing and are resolved with medications that work against inflammation. So the support measures are usually temporary and the patient returns to their normal life.”

If treatment or the use of anti-inflammatory drugs does not show the expected results, surgery can be performed. But operations are rare. “Some cases may require temporary or permanent artificial heart systems or even implantation of an artificial heart,” the doctor explains.

He also warns: “After treatment, some people may still have poor heart strength, but the vast majority of them recover completely.”

* Trainee under the supervision of Carla Canteras

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