Monkeypox may cause heart muscle inflammation, case report finds

A patient with a monkeypox infection in Portugal developed myocarditis, or heart muscle inflammation, a week after the onset of monkeypox symptoms, researchers said in a case report published Sept. 2. 

About one week after first developing monkeypox symptoms, a 31-year-old male patient presented to the emergency room reporting chest tightness that radiated through his left arm, according to the report published in JACC: Case Reports. The patient was admitted to the intensive care unit and cardiac magnetic resonance mapping was used to confirm the inflammation. The patient fully recovered and was discharged after one week. 

"This case highlights cardiac involvement as a potential complication associated with monkeypox infection," said Ana Isabel Pinho, MD, lead study author and physician in the department of cardiology at São João University Hospital Center in Portugal, according to a news release from the American College of Cardiology sent to Becker's.

Myocarditis is typically caused by a viral infection and was previously associated with smallpox, which is caused by a virus in the same family as the monkeypox virus. 

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