Autoimmunity in Acute Myocarditis: How Immunopathogenesis Steers New Directions for Diagnosis and Treatment

Karina Bruestle, Klaus Hackner, Gudrun Kreye, Bettina Heidecker

Research output: Journal article (peer-reviewed)Review article

14 Citations (Scopus)


PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Over the last decade, myocarditis has been increasingly recognized as common cause of sudden cardiac death in young adults and heart failure overall. The purpose of this review is to discuss hypothesis of development of non-infectious myocarditis, to provide a description of the immunopathogenesis and the most common mechanisms of autoimmunity in myocarditis, and to provide an update on therapeutic options.

RECENT FINDINGS: A new entity of myocarditis is immune checkpoint inhibitor (ICI) induced myocarditis. ICIs are used in advanced cancer to "disinhibit" the immune system and make it more aggressive in fighting cancer. This novel drug class has doubled life expectancy in metastatic melanoma and significantly increased progression free survival in advanced non-small-cell lung cancer, but comes with a risk of autoimmune diseases such as myocarditis resulting from an overly aggressive immune system. Myocarditis is an inflammatory disease of the heart with major public health impact. Thorough understanding of its immunopathogenesis is crucial for accurate diagnosis and effective treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Article number28
Pages (from-to)28
JournalCurrent Cardiology Reports
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 01 May 2020


  • Acute Disease
  • Autoimmune Diseases
  • Autoimmunity
  • Humans
  • Myocarditis/immunology
  • Myocarditis
  • Immune checkpoint inhibitors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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