This term refers to generalized inflammation of the heart muscle, such as may occur with certain viral illnesses or sometimes as an auto-immune disease. Myocarditis is potentially very dangerous, even fatal. The heart muscle may be weakened to the point that it can no longer pump the blood as effectively as needed - heart failure. Or the heart muscle may be prone to abnormal electrical discharges and rhythm disturbances - potentially fatal arrhythmia.

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