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11-09-2010 | REVIEW ARTICLE

The importance of cardiac MRI as a diagnostic tool in viral myocarditis-induced cardiomyopathy

Netherlands Heart Journal
M.A.G.M. Olimulder, J. van Es, M.A. Galjee
Myocarditis is an acute or chronic inflammatory disease of the myocardium which can be viral, postinfectious immune or primarily organ-specific autoimmune. Clinical manifestations of acute and chronic myocarditis are extremely varied, ranging from mild to severe. Affected patients may recover or develop (dilated) cardiomyopathy (DCM) with life-threatening symptoms including heart failure, conduction disturbances, arrhythmias, cardiogenic shock or sudden cardiac death.
The diagnosis of myocarditis is a challenging process and not only because of a diverse presentation; other problems are limited sensitivity of endomyocardial biopsies (EMB) and overlapping symptoms. Furthermore, the diagnosis is not well defined. However, early diagnosis is mandatory to address specific aetiology-directed therapeutic management in myocarditis that influences patient morbidity and mortality.
Currently, EMB remains the only way to confirm the presence of a viral genome and other histopathological findings allowing proper treatment to be implemented in cases of myocarditis. Increased recognition of the role of myocardial inflammatory changes has given rise to interest in noninvasive imaging as a diagnostic tool, especially cardiovascular magnetic resonance imaging (CMR). In this review we discuss the current role of CMR in the evaluation of myocarditis-induced inflammatory cardiomyopathies. (Neth Heart J 2009;17:481#x003D;6.)

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Netherlands Heart Journal

Het Netherlands Heart Journal wordt uitgegeven in samenwerking met de Nederlandse Vereniging voor Cardiologie en de Nederlandse Hartstichting. Het tijdschrift is Engelstalig en wordt gratis beschikbaa ...

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