Differential Therapy of Myocarditis and Inflammatory Cardiomyopathy
Cardiomyocytes can be destroyed by direct virus damage, the antiviral immune response, or a truly autoimmune injury. Beside an optimal heart failure therapy, the mainstay of treatment for myocarditis and inflammatory cardiomyopathy (CMi) is the biopsy-proven specific immunomodulatory treatment regarding the underlying pathophysiological mechanisms. Chronic viral infections of the heart (mainly Parvovirus B19, Human-Herpes virus (HHV) 6, Coxsackieadeno virus, Ebstein-Barr virus, Cytomegalie virus, and Hepatitis virus) are considered one antecedent event leading to progressive dysfunction of the myocardium, often with an impaired prognosis due to a virus- or immune-mediated myocardial injury. The effectiveness of anti-viral-therapy has been proven in recent studies, showing that enterovirus/ adenovirus – positive patients benefit from anti-viral therapy with interferon beta-1b, whereas in patients suffering from parvovirus B19 infection no established therapy exists.