These complications include inflammation of the heart tissue (myocarditis), disturbances in heartbeat rhythm (arrhythmias), and areas of blood vessel dilation (aneurysms) in the coronary arteries.
In a very few cases the child may die from complications related to myocarditis or from bowel perforation or lung disease caused by vasculitic ulcers.
Coxsackie virus-A type of enterovirus that may produce a variety of illnesses, including upper respiratory infections, myocarditis, and pericarditis.
The most serious complications caused by the exotoxin are inflammations of the heart muscle (myocarditis) and damage to the nervous system.
People with diphtheria who develop myocarditis may be treated with oxygen and with medications to prevent irregular heart rhythms.
Abnormal heart rhythms and myocarditis: Myocarditis refers to inflammation of the muscles of the walls of the heart.
The most vulnerable persons are children under the age of 15 years and those who develop pneumonia or myocarditis.
The myocarditis may cause disturbances in the heart rhythm and may culminate in heart failure.
- Chronic interstitial myocarditis, showing the muscle fibres in the heart wall being separated and becoming atrophied by a slow fibrous overgrowth of the connective tissue.