Autopsy and Case Reports
Autopsy and Case Reports
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Infant acute myocarditis mimicking acute myocardial infarction

Maher Jedidi, Samia Tilouche, Tasnim Masmoudi, Maha Sahnoun, Youssef Chkirbène, Sarra Mestiri, Lamia Boughamoura, Mohamed Ben Dhiab, Mohamed Kamel Souguir


Myocarditis is an inflammatory disease of the myocardium with heterogeneous clinical manifestations and progression. In clinical practice, although there are many methods of diagnosis of acute myocarditis, the diagnosis remains an embarrassing dilemma for clinicians. The authors report the case of 9-month-old infant who was brought to the Pediatric Emergency Department with sudden onset dyspnea. Examination disclosed heart failure and resuscitation was undertaken. The electrocardiogram showed an ST segment elevation in the anterolateral leads with a mirror image. Cardiac enzyme tests revealed a significant elevation of troponin and creatine phosphokinase levels. A diagnosis of acute myocardial infarction was made, and heparin therapy was prescribed. The infant died on the third day after admission with cardiogenic shock. The autopsy showed dilatation of the ventricles and massive edema of the lungs. Histological examinations of myocardium samples revealed the presence of a marked lymphocytic infiltrate dissociating myocardiocytes. Death was attributed to acute myocarditis. The authors call attention to the difficulties of differential diagnosis between acute myocarditis and acute myocardial infarction especially in children, and to the important therapeutic implications of a correct diagnosis.


Myocarditis, Myocardial Infarction, Diagnosis, Differential, Infant Death


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