A review of selected papers on myocarditis published during the past decade and an analysis of some original data together with personal experiences have been presented.
All of these indicate that the clinical diagnosis of myocarditis is made far too infrequently as contrasted with the high incidence of this disease as recognized by pathologists. It is estimated that approximately 10 per cent of all patients coming to necropsy will demonstrate some evidence of myocarditis.
The discrepancy between the clinical and the pathologic incidences can possibly be ascribed to two factors, namely, (a) the relatively innocent nature of the clinical and laboratory findings in many cases, and (b) the apparent reluctance of the clinician to make the diagnosis.
It is likely that a correct diagnosis of myocarditis will be made more often and cardiac catastrophies avoided if the clinician will consider the possibility of the diagnosis, particularly in the course of all types of infectious diseases.
- © 1954 American Heart Association, Inc.