In mild cases, myocarditis might have no noticeable symptoms. You might feel ill and have general symptoms of a viral infection and never realize your heart is affected.

In serious cases, the signs and symptoms of myocarditis vary, depending on the cause of the disease. Common myocarditis symptoms include:

  • Chest pain
  • Rapid or abnormal heart rhythms (arrhythmias)
  • Shortness of breath, at rest or during physical activity
  • Fluid retention with swelling of your legs, ankles and feet
  • Fatigue
  • Other signs and symptoms you'd have with a viral infection, such as a headache, body aches, joint pain, fever, a sore throat or diarrhea

Myocarditis in children

When children develop myocarditis, they might have signs and symptoms including:

  • Fever
  • Fainting
  • Breathing difficulties
  • Rapid breathing
  • Rapid or abnormal heart rhythms (arrhythmias)

When to see a doctor

Contact your doctor if you have any of the symptoms of myocarditis, particularly chest pain and shortness of breath. If you've had an infection, be alert for the symptoms of myocarditis and let your doctor know if they occur. If you have severe symptoms, go to the emergency room or call for emergency medical help.

Oct. 24, 2015