Myocarditis is the inflammation of the heart muscle. This muscle is the middle layer of the heart, formally called the myocardium, hence the name myocarditis (the -itis suffix indicates inflammation). Inflammation of the myocardium can be caused by a variety of etiologies, from infection to drugs. If severe enough, inflammation can lead to necrosis and cardiomyocyte death. This is dangerous because the heart is considered permanent tissue. This means there is limited regenerative potential, so tissue loss is essentially permanent. As part of the healing process, myocardial tissue is replaced by a fibrous scar to fill the defect. But because the fibrous scar has no contractile properties, it diminishes the heart’s strength. If severe enough, this damage can even cause heart failure.
After listening to this AudioBrick, you should be able to:
- Define myocarditis.
- List the most common viral, bacterial, fungal, and parasitic causes of myocarditis, and describe the general mechanism for how these agents damage the myocardium.
- List noninfectious causes of myocarditis, and describe the general mechanism for how the myocardium is damaged in these conditions.
- Describe the characteristic microscopic features of acute infectious myocarditis.
- Describe the typical presentation, clinical spectrum, and prognosis of myocarditis.
You can also check out the original brick on Myocarditis from our Cardiovascular collection, which is available for free.
You will get 5 days of full access to our Rx360+ program, including nearly 800 Rx Bricks. After the 5-day period, you will still be able to access over 150 free bricks, including the entire collections for General Microbiology and Cellular and Molecular Biology.
If you enjoyed this episode, we’d love for you to leave a review on Apple Podcasts. It helps with our visibility, and the more med students (or future med students) listen to the podcast, the more we can provide to the future physicians of the world.
Follow USMLE-Rx at:
Learn how you can access over 150 of our bricks for FREE: https://usmlerx.wpengine.com/free-bricks/