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Established and novel treatment options in acute myocarditis, with or without heart failure.

INTRODUCTION: Acute myocarditis is a disorder characterized by an unpredictable clinical course which ranges from asymptomatic, incidentally discovered forms, to cases with fulminant course and adverse outcome. The most challenging issues in the context of acute myocarditis are the appearance of difficult to treat heart failure in the acute phase and the potential progression in the long-term to dilated cardiomyopathy. Areas covered: With respect to available treatment options in acute myocarditis, in the absence of specific guidelines, management is supportive and overall empirical, especially for the oligo- or asymptomatic patients with preserved ejection fraction. Haemodynamically instable patients should be treated in referral centers with capability of advanced cardiopulmonary support. Patients with heart failure but without haemodynamic impairment should be treated according to the heart failure guidelines. Endomyocardial biopsy may be performed in an individualized basis both for diagnostic purposes and to guide treatment, based on the detection or not of viral genome. Expert commentary: Apart from the already established treatments, novel therapies against several targets are currently investigated and are expected to contribute to a more efficacious management options in the future. Increased awareness among medical professionals is essential for the early diagnosis and best care of acute myocarditis patients.

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