According to a recent case study, the contagious virus known as monkeypox, which results in a skin rash that resembles blisters, may also cause heart issues. Researchers from Portugal described a 31-year-old patient with monkeypox who developed acute myocarditis about a week after his other symptoms began in findings published on September 2 in JACC: Case Reports.
Dr. Julia Grapsa, the journal’s editor-in-chief, stated, “Through this significant case study, we are developing a deeper understanding of monkeypox, viral myocarditis, and how to diagnose and manage this disease accurately.” In a journal news release, she stated that the authors used CMR mapping, an imaging tool, to aid in the myocarditis diagnosis.
The man visited a medical facility five days after his symptoms started with a fever, muscle pain, and swollen lesions on his face, hands, and genitalia. He tested positive for monkeypox, according to doctors.
The patient returned to the emergency room three days later with chest pain radiating down his left arm. After examining the doctors’ suspicion of acute myocarditis, the man was admitted to the intensive care unit.
Laboratory tests revealed elevated levels of C-reactive protein, creatine phosphokinase (CPK), high-sensitivity troponin I, and brain natriuretic peptide, and an electrocardiogram revealed abnormalities (BNP). The researchers said all of them might point to a heart stress injury.
Acute myocarditis was identified by a cardiac magnetic resonance (CMR) study that was consistent with myocardial inflammation.
After a week, the patient had fully recovered and was allowed to leave the hospital. The authors concluded that additional investigation is required to determine the connection between monkeypox and heart damage.
Author Dr. Ana Isabel Pinho of Portugal’s So Joo University Hospital Center, said, “This case highlights cardiac involvement as a potential complication associated with monkeypox infection.”
In the release, Pinho stated, “We believe that reporting this potential causal relationship can raise more awareness of acute myocarditis as a possible complication associated with monkeypox and might be helpful for close monitoring of affected patients for further recognition of other complications in the future.”
Since spring, monkeypox has become more prevalent in the United States, Europe, and other areas where it was previously uncommon. It is spread by contacting an infected person’s lesions, bodily fluids, or respiratory droplets.
In addition to the distinctive skin lesions, symptoms can last for two to four weeks, including fever, chills, swollen lymph nodes, respiratory issues, muscle aches, and muscle pain. Most incidents are minor.
The virus is related to the more virulent smallpox.
Health professionals advise vaccination for those with confirmed monkeypox or suspected exposure.
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