Background A fulminant course can be difficult to predict at the onset of acute myocarditis, so the aim of the present study was to identify the predictive clinical symptoms/signs or laboratory findings. Methods and Results Thirty-nine patients with acute lymphocytic myocarditis, excluding 8 who manifested shock at admission, were studied. The fulminant group was defined as 12 patients who developed shock after admission, requiring intraaortic balloon pumping or percutaneous cardiopulmonary support, and the non-fulminant group comprised the 27 patients without shock. Various parameters at admission were compared between the 2 groups, together with multiple logistic regression analysis, excluding 6 patients with partially missing values. In the fulminant group, C-reactive protein (7.0±7.0 vs 2.3±2.2 mg/dl, p<0.01) and creatine kinase (1,147±876 vs 594±568 IU/L, p<0.05) concentrations were higher, intraventricular conduction disturbances were more frequent (9/12 vs 7/27 patients, p<0.01) and the left ventricular ejection fraction was lower (40.7±13.9 vs 50.1±10.6%, p<0.05) than in the non-fulminant group. In the multiple logistic regression analysis model with the presence/absence of a fulminant course considered as the independent variable, and C-reactive protein, creatine kinase, intraventricular conduction disturbances, and left ventricular ejection fraction as dependent variables, a high-risk group (expected proportion of fulminant course ≥0.5) and a low-risk group (<0.5) could be differentiated. A fulminant course occurred in 9/13 (69%) patients in the high-risk group, but in only 2/20 (10%) patients in the low risk group (p<0.001). Conclusions The risk of a fulminant course of acute myocarditis was high in patients with elevated C-reactive protein, and creatine kinase concentrations, decreased left ventricular ejection fraction, and intraventricular conduction disturbances at the time of admission.
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