Unusual association of ST-T abnormalities, myocarditis and cardiomyopathy with H1N1 influenza in pregnancy: two case reports and review of the literature
1 Department of Respiratory Medicine, Lister Hospital, Corey's Mill Lane, Stevenage, UK
2 School of Postgraduate Medicine, University of Hertfordshire, Health Research Building, College Lane Campus, Hatfield, UK
Journal of Medical Case Reports 2011, 5:314 doi:10.1186/1752-1947-5-314Published: 14 July 2011
Myocarditis is rarely reported as an extra-pulmonary manifestation of influenza while pregnancy is a rare cause of cardiomyopathy. Pregnancy was identified as a major risk factor for increased mortality and morbidity due to H1N1 influenza in the pandemic of 2009 to 2010. However, to the best of our knowledge there are no previous reports in the literature linking H1N1 with myocarditis in pregnancy.
We report the cases of two pregnant Caucasian women (aged 29 and 30), with no pre-existing illness, presenting with respiratory manifestations of H1N1 influenza virus infection in their third trimester. Both women developed evidence of myocarditis. One woman developed acute respiratory distress syndrome, almost reaching the point of requiring extra-corporeal membrane oxygenation, and subsequently developed persistent cardiomyopathy; the other recovered without any long-term consequence.
While it is not possible to ascertain retrospectively if myocarditis was caused by either infection with H1N1 virus or as a result of pregnancy (in the absence of endomyocardial biopsies), the significant association with myocardial involvement in both women demonstrates the increased risk of exposure to H1N1 influenza virus in pregnant women. This highlights the need for health care providers to increase awareness amongst caregivers to target this 'at risk' group aggressively with vaccination and prompt treatment.