What Is Myopericarditis?

You've taken the first step in finding answers by asking the question, "What is Myopericarditis?" At Klarity we have a team of experienced medical writers and a solid foundation in healthcare literature, we're well-equipped to provide you with reliable, easy-to-understand answers to your questions.

Myopericarditis is a clinical condition characterized by inflammation in both the pericardium, which is the protective outer layer of the heart, and the myocardium, which is the heart's muscle tissue. This dual inflammation often leads to chest pain, an increase in cardiac biomarkers, and potential changes in ECG readings. 

The primary cause is typically viral infection.

However, the condition can also be linked to other factors:

  • Bacterial infections
  • Fungal infections
  • Parasitic infections
  • Systemic inflammatory diseases
  • Certain drugs
  • Toxins
  • Reactions to vaccines

While we've provided a high-level overview of myopericarditis, there is so much more to understand about this condition. From the various symptoms and diagnostic tools to the different treatments and lifestyle changes, we have a wealth of information to share. Continue reading to gain a more in-depth understanding of this complex syndrome.

Myopericarditis: overview

Myopericarditis is a clinical syndrome marked by inflammation in both the pericardium, the protective exterior wall of the heart, and the myocardium, the primary living area of the heart.1 Imagine your heart as a house, with the myocardium as the main living area and the pericardium as the protective exterior wall. Myopericarditis is like a severe storm that not only damages the outer wall but also causes havoc inside the house. It often presents with chest pain, elevated cardiac biomarkers, and sometimes changes in the electrocardiogram (ECG).1 This condition can have severe consequences, causing damage to both the outer shield and the vital interior of the heart.

Causes: understanding the origin

The most common cause of myopericarditis is viral infection:1 

  • Enteroviruses, particularly coxsackieviruses, are the most frequently identified culprits
  • Adenoviruses
  • Herpes viruses
  • Echovirus
  • Ebstein-Barr virus
  • Cytomegalovirus
  • Influenza virus
  • Hepatitis C virus
  • Parvovirus

Other potential causes include:1

  • Bacterial: Mycobacterium tuberculosis, Streptococcus, Staphylococcus, Haemophilus, Legionella, Mycoplasma
  • Fungal: Histoplasma, Aspergillus, Blastomyces, Coccidioidomycosis 
  • Parasitic infections: toxoplasma, amebic, Chagas disease
  • Systemic inflammatory diseases: lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, scleroderma, Sjogren, mixed connective tissue disease
  • Drugs (cardiotoxic effects or hypersensitivity reactions): procainamide, isoniazid, hydralazine, alcohol, anthracycline, heavy metals
  • Post-radiation to the chest cavity
  • Other inflammatory conditions: granulomatosis, inflammatory bowel disease
  • Metastatic cancers: mainly lung cancer, breast cancer, melanoma
  • Primary cardiac tumors: rhabdomyosarcoma
  • Metabolic: hypothyroidism, renal failure/uremia 
  • Vaccine-associated myopericarditis

A comprehensive review and meta-analysis conducted in 2022 indicated that the general risk of myopericarditis post-COVID-19 vaccination is minimal.3

In many cases, the exact cause of myopericarditis remains unknown despite thorough investigation.1 

Viral infections are like stealthy invaders that can breach the heart's defences and wreak havoc in the myocardium and pericardium. Among these, coxsackieviruses are like cunning infiltrators, capable of causing significant damage to the heart-house. While researchers have made great strides in understanding the viral origins of myopericarditis, some cases remain enigmatic, with no definitive cause identified.

Symptoms: signs of trouble

Myopericarditis can manifest in various ways, with common symptoms including chest pain and fatigue. Patients may also experience fever, malaise, and shortness of breath.1 Early symptoms may mimic a viral prodrome with symptoms such as a runny nose, joint pain, and low-grade fever appearing 1 to 2 weeks before the presentation.1 The severity and type of symptoms can vary among individuals, depending on the extent of inflammation and their overall health status.1

Imagine the heart-house experiencing a sudden disturbance within its walls. The residents may feel chest pain, as if the walls are under pressure, and experience overwhelming fatigue as if the interior is burdened. The body's temperature may rise like a feverish attempt to address the turmoil inside. Such disturbances can be like ominous signs, warning us of potential harm to this vital dwelling.

Diagnosis: identifying the condition

Healthcare providers diagnose myopericarditis by combining clinical presentation, electrocardiogram (ECG) changes, elevated cardiac biomarkers, and imaging findings. Tests like ECG and blood tests, including troponin and ferritin levels, along with cardiac magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), play a crucial role in identifying this condition.1,2

Diagnosing myopericarditis is like assembling pieces of a puzzle to reveal the hidden condition of the heart-house. The clinicians analyze the ECG like deciphering cryptic messages left by the heart. Elevated cardiac biomarkers are like red flags, alerting them to potential damage within the heart-house. Finally, the cardiac MRI is like a skilled investigator, scanning the heart-house to uncover the extent of inflammation and damage.

Treatment and management: addressing the issue

The cornerstone of myopericarditis treatment includes medications to reduce inflammation and manage symptoms. Rest and avoidance of strenuous physical activity for up to 3 months are recommended.1 Treatment options may involve:2

  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
  • Corticosteroids

In resistant cases:

For individuals experiencing a substantial buildup of fluid in the pericardium (pericardial effusion) leading to pericardial tamponade, it's recommended to carry out a percutaneous or surgical procedure to drain this excess fluid, which aids in stabilizing their heart's function.1

In patients displaying signs and symptoms of heart failure involving the myocardium, the recommended treatment typically includes standard heart failure therapies. These may include beta-blockers, angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors, and/or diuretics.1

An interprofessional approach is essential for managing myopericarditis effectively, with a team including intensivists, cardiologists, radiologists, infectious disease specialists, physical therapists, and internists.1

Treating myopericarditis is like mending the heart-house after a severe storm. The medications act as skilled artisans, meticulously reducing inflammation and restoring balance. Rest and limited physical activity allow the heart-house to heal and recover from the damages caused by the inflammatory tempest. The interprofessional team works like a well-coordinated effort, with each member contributing their expertise to ensure the heart-house's stability and recovery.

Emerging research: clearing the clouds

As we continue to grapple with the storm of myopericarditis, scientists and researchers worldwide are striving to unravel the mysteries associated with this syndrome. They are like dedicated storm chasers, investigating every aspect of this condition to understand its dynamics better, predict its course, and devise effective strategies to mitigate its impact. They are studying different viral origins, exploring potential genetic and environmental factors, and even looking at the interplay between immune responses and the progression of the disease.3 The ultimate goal is to gain a more in-depth understanding that can help forecast and manage the storm more effectively.

Living with myopericarditis: life after diagnosis

Myopericarditis can have a significant impact on daily life, affecting physical activity levels and overall well-being.3 Regular follow-up care, including check-ups and imaging tests, is essential for monitoring the condition. Lifestyle modifications, such as a balanced diet and regular exercise, can help manage the condition and support recovery.1

Living with myopericarditis can be like adapting to a new reality within the heart-house. The residents learn to be mindful of their activities, avoiding strenuous tasks that might strain the delicate walls. Regular follow-up care is like periodic inspections, ensuring the heart-house's structural integrity remains intact. Lifestyle changes are like redecorating the heart-house, creating an environment conducive to healing and well-being.

Psychosocial impact: after the storm

Living with myopericarditis is not only about coping with physical symptoms but also managing the psychological storm that follows. The heart-house's residents may grapple with feelings of anxiety and depression, akin to the sense of despair following a severe storm. This psychological toll often arises from the uncertainty of the situation, worry about potential health complications and changes in lifestyle.1 Regular mental health check-ins, psychotherapy, and support groups can be invaluable resources, much like a strong community is essential for recovery after a destructive storm.

Prevention: reducing the risk

While preventing myopericarditis entirely may not be possible, steps can be taken to reduce the risk. Practising good hygiene, staying up-to-date with vaccinations, and avoiding known triggers, such as certain medications and toxins, can help decrease the likelihood of this condition.1

Preventing myopericarditis is like implementing a well-thought-out safety plan for the heart-house. Good hygiene practices are like protective measures, preventing the entry of harmful pathogens into the dwelling. Staying current with vaccinations is like having a well-trained security team on standby, ready to tackle any invaders. Avoiding known triggers is like removing potential hazards that could compromise the heart-house's stability. Together, these measures can help keep the heart-house safe and secure.


Myopericarditis is a clinical syndrome that is akin to a severe storm damaging the heart-house, affecting both the protective exterior wall, the pericardium, and the primary living area, the myocardium. Often caused by viral invaders, such as coxsackieviruses, this condition disrupts the heart's equilibrium, leading to symptoms like chest pain, fatigue, and fever.

Diagnosis involves assembling pieces of a clinical puzzle, including deciphering ECG changes, assessing cardiac biomarkers, and utilizing cardiac MRI to uncover the inflammation's extent. The treatment protocol is akin to mending the heart-house post-storm, with anti-inflammatory medications, rest, avoidance of strenuous physical activity, and an interprofessional approach to manage the condition effectively.

Despite the challenges posed by myopericarditis, dedicated researchers are relentlessly pursuing this syndrome's mysteries to predict its course better and mitigate its impact. Living with myopericarditis requires regular follow-up care, lifestyle modifications, and psychological support, transforming the heart-house into a dwelling conducive to healing and well-being.

Recovery from myopericarditis emphasizes resilience and control, embracing a heart-healthy lifestyle with regular exercise, a balanced diet, good sleep hygiene, and stress management. Prevention of myopericarditis involves implementing a safety plan for the heart-house, including good hygiene, regular vaccinations, and avoiding potential triggers.

While myopericarditis might seem daunting, understanding and managing this syndrome offer an opportunity to weather the storm, rebuild the heart-house, and emerge stronger than before.


  1. Manda YR, Baradhi KM. Myopericarditis. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2023 [cited 2023 Aug 3]. Available from: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK534776/ 
  2. Kumar M, Tandon V, Lopetegui Lia N, Jain S. Still’s disease and myopericarditis. Cureus [Internet]. [cited 2023 Aug 3];11(6):e4900. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6689492/  
  3. Ling RR, Ramanathan K, Tan FL, Tai BC, Somani J, Fisher D, et al. Myopericarditis following COVID-19 vaccination and non-COVID-19 vaccination: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Lancet Respir Med [Internet]. 2022 Jul [cited 2023 Aug 3];10(7):679–88. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9000914/ 
This content is purely informational and isn’t medical guidance. It shouldn’t replace professional medical counsel. Always consult your physician regarding treatment risks and benefits. See our editorial standards for more details.

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Elena Paspel

Master of Science in Engineering (Digital Health) - Tallinn University of Technology, Estonia

Bachelor of Laws - LLB (Hons), London Metropolitan University, UK

An experienced professional with a diverse background spanning law, pricing, and eHealth/Digital Health. Proficient in copywriting, medical terminology, healthcare interoperability standards, and MedTech regulations. A strong foundation in scientific research methodologies and user experience research supports the creation of compelling content for the biopharmaceutical, CROs, medical technology, and eHealth sectors.

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