Enteroviral myocarditis in neonates


  • Conflict of interest: none.

Correspondence: Mr Luregn J. Schlapbach, Paediatric Critical Care Research Group, Paediatric Intensive Care Unit, Mater Children's Hospital, 550, Stanley Street, South Brisbane, Qld 4101, Australia. Fax: 61 (07) 3163 7556; email: luregn.schlapbach@mater.org.au


Enteroviruses are a leading cause of viral infections in children. While most enteroviral infections are mild and self-limiting, severe disease such as a viral sepsis syndrome, myocarditis, hepatitis and meningoencephalitis may occur. We present two cases of neonatal enteroviral myocarditis. Cardiorespiratory failure occurred in both cases, and severe shock refractory to conventional treatment required support with extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO). One child with coxsackievirus B3 myocarditis failed to recover and died after 3 weeks on ECMO, while one child could be decannulated successfully after 9 days of ECMO and recovered completely subsequently. In conclusion, neonatal myocarditis has a very high mortality, and ECMO should be considered early in neonates with rapid clinical and echocardiographic deterioration despite adequate inotropic support.