Background: Endomyocardial biopsy (EMB) is required to make a definite diagnosis of lymphocytic myocarditis (LM), to identify its etiology, and to classify LM into different phases. Objectives: This study aims to characterize and compare clinical and electrophysiological characteristics of different biopsy-proven LM phases, namely acute myocarditis (AM), chronic active myocarditis (CAM), and healed myocarditis (HM). Methods: All patients with a diagnosis of LM at 3 Italian referral centers were prospectively enrolled. According to EMB findings, LM was classified as AM, CAM, or HM; per-group comparisons of clinical presentations, noninvasive, and invasive findings are reported. Results: Among the 122 enrolled patients (AM, n = 44; CAM, n = 42; HM, n = 36), complex ventricular arrhythmias were very common overall (n = 109, 89%), but ventricular fibrillation was slightly more prevalent in AM (P = 0.028). Cardiac magnetic resonance imaging showed late gadolinium enhancement in more patients with HM and CAM than AM (94.4% vs 92.9% vs 50%; P < 0.001), whereas edema was more common in AM than in CAM, being absent in HM (90.9% vs 50% vs 0%; P < 0.001). Accordingly, edema was the strongest independent clinical predictor of EMB-proven active inflammation. Electroanatomical mapping revealed a lower prevalence of low-voltage areas in AM than in CAM or HM. We observed a strong association between edema at a specific myocardial segment and normal voltages at that site (odds ratio: 0.24; 95% CI: 0.10-0.54; P < 0.01), as well as between late gadolinium enhancement and low-voltage areas (odds ratio: 2.86; 95% CI: 1.19-6.97; P = 0.019). Conclusions: LM is a highly heterogeneous disease, and its different phases are characterized by diverse clinical, morphological, and electrophysiological features. Further research is required to identify electroanatomical markers of inflammation.
Different Phases of Disease in Lymphocytic Myocarditis: Clinical and Electrophysiological Characteristics / Casella, Michela; Gasperetti, Alessio; Compagnucci, Paolo; Narducci, Maria Lucia; Pelargonio, Gemma; Catto, Valentina; Carbucicchio, Corrado; Bencardino, Gianluigi; Conte, Edoardo; Schicchi, Nicolò; Andreini, Daniele; Pontone, Gianluca; Giovagnoni, Andrea; Rizzo, Stefania; Inzani, Frediano; Basso, Cristina; Natale, Andrea; Tondo, Claudio; Russo, Antonio Dello; Crea, Filippo. - In: JACC. CLINICAL ELECTROPHYSIOLOGY. - ISSN 2405-500X. - 9:3(2023), pp. 314-326. [10.1016/j.jacep.2022.10.004]