Congestive Heart Failure Expert Forum
What is the difference between myocarditis and Viral Cardiomyopathy?
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CHF is a condition in which the heart can’t pump enough blood to meet the body’s needs. In some cases, the heart can’t fill with enough blood. In other cases, the heart can’t pump blood to the rest of the body with enough force. Some people have both problems. The term "heart failure" doesn’t mean that your heart has stopped or is about to stop working. Heart failure is a serious condition that requires medical care. This forum is a place to ask questions about CHF. Some examples are: How is CHF diagnosed? What treatment options are available for me?

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What is the difference between myocarditis and Viral Cardiomyopathy?

My Cardiologist told me that I have Viral Cardiomyopathy after getting a stress test and Cardiac MRI done. My ejection fraction is at 44%, went down from 65% during a 2 year period. I'm 29 years old. I have a history of Atrial Fibrillation and very frequent heart fluttering and palpitations everyday and also have hypothyroism that I'm being treated for. I had a follow up appt one day and I saw the Nurse Practitioner she told me the Cardiac Mri that was done "suggested" Myocarditis. So which is it? I'm confused are they the same thing? Can I recover completely from both. She said the chambers in my heart showed up normal size. My heart muscle just had small areas of inflammation and had global hypkinesis, whatever that means. Would be greatful for any advice. Thanks.
1884349_tn?1353818598
Hello and welcome to the forum:

Making the diagnosis of a "viral cardiomyopathy" can be difficult and patients are sometimes labeled as having had this due to the inability to provide a more exact explanation for the cause of the heart dysfunction.  It is possible, as the NP told you though, that the MRI is "suggestive" ov myocarditis.  However, you would need a biopsy to confirm this and this is often not performed because in most instances it wont change the way you are treated.

I am also intrigued by your frequent heart fluttering, afib, etc.  This in its own right, if happening frequently enough, can cause heart dysfunction and should be aggressively treated.

Finally, you must get onto heart failure medications and have the doses increased to maximally tolerated levels.  This will give your heart the best chance to recover.

Exercise is probably safe as your doc suggested and I agree with "listening to your body" and stopping when you begin to feel tired.  Unclear if exercise can truly strengthen your heart but staying active is clearly beneficial for multiple reasons including in patients with heart dysfunction.  You should also be sure to see a "heart failure specialist" at some point in addition to your general cardiologist.  

I think there is a good chance at a good prognosis but you need to be in good hands.

All the best,

Dr. Rich
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Also my cardiologist said I have no restrictions. I asked if I can exercise and he said yes to do what I can and stop when I feel tired. So would using an elliptical be okay? Can exercise help to strengthen my heart muscle?
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1884349_tn?1353818598
Jonathan D. Rich, MDBlank
Northwestern Memorial Hospital
Chicago, IL
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