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Hantavirus infection induces a typical myocarditis that may be responsible for myocardial depression and shock in hantavirus pulmonary syndrome



Hantavirus infection induces a typical myocarditis that may be responsible for myocardial depression and shock in hantavirus pulmonary syndrome



Journal of Infectious Diseases 195(10): 1541-1549



Despite clinical evidence of myocardial dysfunction, there is no pathological evidence of myocardial injury in hantavirus pulmonary syndrome (HPS). The dominant opinion is that the primary cardiac lesion is functional rather than structural. The present study describes hantaviral antigen and particles in the cardiac endothelium and interstitial macrophages in association with a typical myocarditis in HPS. Human hearts from 14 individuals who died of HPS were compared with hearts from 14 individuals who died of acute necrotizing pancreatitis associated with acute lung injury and 4 individuals who died accidental deaths without thoracic injury (as controls); all cases were selected from autopsies. Transmural blocks of myocardial tissue were excised from the middle portion of the left-ventricular free wall and fixed in formalin. Small samples of myocardial tissue from 4 HPS cases and 4 non-HPS controls were fixed in glutaraldehyde for electron microscopic study. Histomorphometric, immunohistochemical, and ultrastructural methods were employed to detect the presence of hantavirus in the myocardium and to evaluate interstitial edema and the minor diameter of myocytes, to characterize the immunophenotype, and to estimate the number of inflammatory cells and in situ cytokine-producing cells and the T helper cell subset 1 and 2 immune responses (tumor necrosis factor [TNF]-alpha, interferon-gamma, interleukin [IL]-10, and IL-4). Cardiac remodeling; hantaviral antigen and particles in the endothelium and macrophages; scattered foci of myofiber necrosis; greater interstitial cellular infiltration, mainly composed of macrophages and memory T lymphocytes and a significant number of T helper and B lymphocytes; and TNF-alpha protein expression in macrophage-type cells and cardiomyocytes were observed to a greater extent in HPS myocardium than in normal and acute pancreatitis control myocardium. These findings give support to the opinion that structural changes could be responsible for myocardial depression and shock in HPS, and it should be properly named as "hantavirus cardiopulmonary syndrome" (HCPS).

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Accession: 013725898

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PMID: 17436235

DOI: 10.1086/513874


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