Roto D, Malnoske ML, Winters S, Georas SN. A Fatal Case of Influenza B Myocarditis with Cardiac Tamponade. Case Rep Crit Care. 2018 Aug 30;2018:8026314.
Influenza B is generally regarded as a less severe counterpart to influenza A, typically causing mild upper respiratory symptoms. Myocardial involvement with influenza B is a rare complication, better described in children than adults. However, when it occurs, it can lead to profound myocarditis with progression to shock requiring aggressive supportive care.
We present a case of cardiac tamponade in the setting of influenza B infection in a previously healthy 57-year-old woman, with progression to refractory shock and death. Autopsy revealed myocardial necrosis with infiltration of CD3+ lymphocytes, and little evidence of viral pneumonia.
Myocarditis is a rare complication of influenza B in adults, and subsequent pericardial effusion with tamponade physiology is a previously unreported event in an otherwise healthy adult without other medical comorbidities. While rare, this is a serious and potentially fatal complication that clinicians should be aware of when evaluating a patient with suspected viral illness who is exhibiting shock physiology.
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