A Rare Case of Giant Cell Myocarditis

*Corresponding author: Althea C. G. Neblett*

Abstract

Giant cell myocarditis is a rare condition first described in 1905. It has a reported incidence range from 0.007% to 0.051%. It affects female and male individuals, equally, and usually occurs in young and middle-aged persons. The underlying aetiology of giant cell myocarditis is unknown but it is thought to be mediated by T-lymphocytes. Diagnosis is made via histological examination of myocardial tissue and is characterized by a mixed inflammatory cell infiltrate with multinucleated giant cells and cardiomyocyte necrosis, predominantly affecting the ventricles. The following report describes a rare case of giant cell myocarditis in a 71-year-old man with a history of hypertension and heart failure, who died while waiting to be seen in the emergency department. Autopsy findings revealed an enlarged, dilated heart with histologic features in keeping with giant cell myocarditis, along with features of heart failure. Diagnosis of giant cell myocarditis is less common in the elderly age group, possibly due to a less severe disease process in this age group and it may be misdiagnosed because older individuals may have other cardiovascular diseases (CVDs).

Keywords

Myocarditis; Giant cell myocarditis; Autopsy; Elderly, Cardiovascular.