Characteristics of Clinically Diagnosed Pediatric Myocarditis in a Contemporary Multi-Center Cohort

Ryan J. Butts*, Gerard J. Boyle, Shriprasad R. Deshpande, Katheryn Gambetta, Kenneth R. Knecht, Carolina A. Prada-Ruiz, Marc E. Richmond, Shawn C. West, Ashwin K. Lal

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

70 Scopus citations


The objective of this study was to describe a contemporary cohort of pediatric patients hospitalized for clinically suspected myocarditis. A retrospective chart review was performed at seven tertiary pediatric hospitals. Electronic medical records were searched between 2008 and 2012 for patients ≤18 years admitted with an ICD-9 code consistent with myocarditis. Patients were excluded if the admitting or consulting cardiologist did not suspect myocarditis during the admission or an alternative diagnosis was determined. One hundred seventy-one patients were discharged or died with a primary diagnosis of myocarditis. Median age was 13.1 years (IQR 2.1, 15.9), with a bimodal distribution; 24% <2 years and 46% between 13 and 18 years. Patients with moderate or severe systolic dysfunction were younger, had higher BNPs at admission, but had lower troponin. Mortality, heart transplantation, and readmission did not differ between patients who received only IVIG, only steroids, IVIG and steroids, and no immunotherapy. Ninety-four patients (55%) were discharged on heart failure medications, 16 were transplanted, and seven died. The presence at the time of admission of gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms (p = 0.01) and lower echo shortening fraction (SF) (p < 0.01) was associated with death/transplant. Within one year 16% had a readmission, one underwent heart transplant, and 39% received heart failure therapy. Pediatric myocarditis has a bimodal age distribution. The use of IVIG and steroids is not associated with mortality/heart transplantation. The presence of GI symptoms and lower echo SF may identify patients at risk for death and/or transplantation during the admission.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1175-1182
Number of pages8
JournalPediatric cardiology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Aug 1 2017


  • Myocarditis
  • Outcomes
  • Pediatrics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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