Influenza Myocarditis Treated With Antithymocyte Globulin

Influenza is a cause of significant morbidity and mortality worldwide. Myocarditis is a rare complication of the virus and can vary widely in severity. The published cases of influenza B myocarditis in children tend to be severe with a high mortality rate. Current standard treatment of viral myocarditis is supportive care, although immunomodulatory therapies, such as steroids and intravenous immunoglobulin, are often used. T cells have been implicated in causing significant myocyte damage in myocarditis by leading to the downstream production of antibodies against viral and myocyte antigens; this has created a theoretical basis for the use of antithymocyte globulin to target T cells in these patients. We present a case of acute fulminant influenza B myocarditis in a pediatric patient that required mechanical circulatory support and improved only after treatment with antithymocyte globulin.

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