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March 1952


AMA Am J Dis Child. 1952;83(3):282-291. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1952.02040070028002

EVIDENCE that myocarditis can occur in several diseases of viral etiology has been accumulating and has been summarized by Lyon1 and by Saphir.2 There have been a few reports indicating that measles is one of the virus diseases which occasionally may be associated with cardiac disturbance.

It is questionable whether anatomical changes in the heart occur during measles. In 1937 Degen3 described the findings in 100 autopsies of patients who died while ill with measles. There were four instances of pericarditis, and four of the 91 hearts examined microscopically demonstrated "more than the usual toxic changes." Since many of the patients also had secondary bacterial infections, it is difficult to tell whether any of the cardiac pathologic changes were attributable to the measles virus.

Clinical and/or electrocardiographic findings suggestive of cardiac disturbance in measles have been observed in a few instances. Hecht4 described the case of

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