Heart and Blood Conditions
Myocarditis Treatment Options
Your child may need one or more of these medicines:
- Antimicrobials can fight infections caused by a selected few viruses, if identified
- Steroids and intravenous immunoglobulins may be used to reduce inflammation.
- Diuretics help the kidneys rid the body of extra water. This reduces the heart's workload.
- If your child's heart muscle is very weak, they will need standard medicines used to treat heart failure.
- If your child gets a blood clot in their heart, they will need blood-thinning medicine.
An arrhythmia may be treated with medicines or by inserting a pacemaker or a defibrillator.
You will need to reduce your child's activity level for a while and give them a low-salt diet. These steps can make the heart's work easier.
If your child develops cardiomyopathy, they may need other treatment.
New Treatments for Myocarditis
In addition to the therapies described above, at Seattle Children's we are using the latest tools to help the heart pump when it is failing. These tools are called ventricular assist devices, a form of mechanical circulatory life support, and are used in only the most severe forms of myocarditis and cardiomyopathy. They can help allow the heart to rest and also serve as a bridge to heart transplantation if the heart does not recover enough.
Julie’s Story – From Failing Heart to Transplant
When myocarditis suddenly threatened her life, Julie traveled from Hawaii to Seattle Children’s to receive a HeartMate II ventricular assist device (VAD). The VAD kept Julie healthy enough to wait for a heart transplant -- and gave her the chance to build her first snowman.
When a virus attacked AJ’s heart, his team at Seattle Children’s recommended a ventricular assist device (VAD). The CentriMag pump allowed his heart to rest, heal and recover.
Contact the Heart Center at 206-987-2015 for a cardiac referral, a second opinion or more information.