Inflammatory Heart Disease The Basics

Inflammatory heart disease occurs when the surrounding heart tissue or muscle is inflamed from exposure to an infection like a bacteria or virus or from an internal oddity. This kind of inflammation may appear in cases of rheumatic fever and kawasaki disease. The disease may be categorized as either endocarditis, myocarditis or pericarditis.

Types of Inflammatory Heart Disease


The heart is engulfed by a sac called the pericardium. The sac is composed of two layers the fibrous pericardium and the serous pericardium. The serous pericardium has two layers which both provide lubrication to the active heart to reduce friction. The fibrous pericardium is the outer layer of dense connective tissue that firmly holds the heart to the bordering walls, prevents the total flooding of the heart with blood and protects the heart.

There are many instances where pericarditis materializes without a known cause however, there are some factors that will incite the disease including:

1.Viral and bacterial infections
2.Connective tissue disease such as sarcoidosis and rheumatoid arthritis
3.Previous injury to the heart like heart attack, trauma and heart surgery
4.Metabolic disorders chiefly hypothyroidism and uremia (kidney failure)
5.An adverse reaction to a certain type of medication
6.Tumours and cancers


Endocarditis is incited by an infection of the endocardium or inner lining of the heart resulting in subsequent inflammation. It generally manifests when pathogens from other areas of the body come in contact with the bloodstream and latches on to weakened areas of the heart. If is not treated it may partially or entirely ruin the heart valves and may also progress into a life- threatening condition. The disease rarely affects individuals with healthy hearts. The greatest risk factors are impaired condition of the heart, artificial heart valve and having any other heart defect.


Myocarditis describes inflammation of the heart muscle. It is prompted by several infections inclusive of viruses like sarcoidosis, pregnancy, and immune diseases. The most common form of infection is by a virus which will attack the heart muscle inciting local inflammation. Once the infection has ceased the immune response will be perpetuated, lengthening the duration of the myocarditis.


It may sometimes occur with no symptoms. The most often seen symptom is pain in the chest. In severe cases the disease may induce deterioration of the heart muscle. It is subsequently possible for it to cause heart failure with evident shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, oedema, extreme tiredness and so on.


It is not known from the outset of the disease how well an individual will recover. Some persons recover completely while others may develop chronic heart failure due to considerable damage to the heart muscles. Rarely a person may be afflicted with fulminant heart failure which is deadly if a heart transplant is not performed. If the damage to the muscle is extreme a defibrillator may be implanted to increase the heart’s overall function.