Myocarditis is inflammation and weakness of the heart muscle usually caused by a viral infection that reaches the heart, such as the influenza (flu) virus, Coxsackie virus, and adenovirus. Myocarditis can damage the heart muscle causing it to become thick and swollen. This leads to symptoms of heart failure. Myocarditis may also occur during or after other viral or bacterial infections such as polio, rubella, Lyme disease, and others.
Reviewed By: Neil K. Kaneshiro, MD, MHA, Clinical Professor of Pediatrics, University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle, WA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.