Heart Inflammation Recovery
Following treatment for pericarditis, myocarditis, or endocarditis, it is important to see your healthcare provider regularly for follow-up visits. Depending on the type of heart inflammation that you have, you may be at risk for the inflammation to come back for several months or longer. Talk to your provider about your risk and what to watch for.
Receive routine follow-up care
- Blood tests detect the bacteria causing endocarditis and may be needed every 24 to 48 hours until the infection is gone from the bloodstream. For pericarditis, blood tests that look for increased levels of inflammation — C-reactive protein (CRP) and erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR) — may be repeated periodically until the levels return to normal. Your doctor may also continue anti-inflammatory treatment until these levels return to normal.
- Heart imaging tests, such as cardiac MRI or echocardiograms, take images of your heart after treatment to help your healthcare providers monitor your condition and look for any changes.
Prevent serious problems or getting the disease again
People with endocarditis have a lifelong risk of getting the disease again. People with pericarditis can have the disease again in the first 18 months after treatment. People with myocarditis are at risk of having the disease years after their first time.
It is important to prevent other health problems and lower the risk of having heart inflammation again.
- Continue all medicines as directed by your doctor, including those for other health problems such as heart failure, arrhythmia, or for medical conditions that may have caused your endocarditis, myocarditis, or pericarditis. Treatment for endocarditis and pericarditis often lasts weeks. You may need to take some medicines throughout your lifetime. If prescribed, lifelong use of antifungals for fungal endocarditis or colchicine for pericarditis may lower your risk of having the disease again.
- Do not exercise until your doctor tells you it is safe.
- Avoid known causes and risk factors.
- Make healthy lifestyle changes as recommended by your doctor. These may include avoiding amphetamines, cocaine, or IV drugs.
- Get regular dental care.
Tell your doctor if you experience fever or chills; or symptoms of heart failure, such as shortness of breath, fatigue, or swelling in your legs.