THURSDAY, July 15, 2021 (HealthDay News) — In a scientific statement published online July 7 in Circulation, the American Heart Association addresses current knowledge and management in the field of pediatric myocarditis.

Yuk M. Law, M.D., from Seattle Children’s Hospital, and colleagues note that to date, no definitive criteria using clinical features alone can confirm diagnosis or differentiate clinical suspicion from possible myocarditis. Acute myocarditis commonly has an infectious cause, with viral causes being the most prevalent. Myocarditis presents as several distinct clinical profiles. Acute myocarditis typically presents with a poorly functioning ventricle with or without dilation, recent heart failure symptoms, and viral infectious symptoms. In about two-thirds of patients, history of a preceding viral prodrome is present. Up to 45 percent of patients have arrhythmias, which include ventricular and atrial arrhythmias and high-grade atrioventricular block. Acute myocarditis can progress rapidly in children and anticipatory care is necessary. In the early phase, monitoring for atrial or ventricular arrhythmias is a critical aspect.

“In light of the recently recognized occurrence of myocarditis after COVID-19 infection, as well as the emergence of cases of suspected myocarditis after COVID-19 vaccination, this statement is a resource for clinicians and health care professionals in caring for these patients,” Yuk said in a statement.

One author disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.

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