Sorry for the novel, but thought I would update in case in years time somebody else is searching for Myocarditis- thought I would keep all the info on the same thread.
Well in May, I had a couple massive flares (one was a dead ringer for a heart attack - and given a heart attack is a lack of oxygen to the heart and cell death, I’m guessing was a heart attack). This happened the night that I started cardiac rehab because I’d been cleared by my public-system cardiologist to go ahead with it. This was while on infliximab, and the gastro was worried the infliximab might be making things worse (it can rarely cause heart failure - they don’t know how).
So I got taken off infliximab and put on 25mg steroids. Went back to my own cardiologist as it was pretty clear we did not have a handle on things, and this theory that everything would be fine once the infliximab sorted out my Crohn’s did not appear to be working.
She did some tests and put me in hospital, here I negotiated to increase the prednisone to 60mg daily and got out. A couple of weeks later, feeling generally unwell and thinking I had pneumonia again, I did some inflammation blood tests which included the enzymes in my heart. Back in hospital, 4 days this time till they decided I was stable enough to go.
Did another echo and now there is damage, fluid, swelling visible on echo too. Seems like the prednisone is next to useless, so gastro gets emergency consult with immunologist, who notes that all my diseases are autoinflammatory, not autoimmune, says we need to get back on a biologic asap, and if infliximab isn’t doing the job we should move to Anakinra (an IL-1 blocker).
Back on infliximab, but after about 4 weeks the echo and heart enzymes are still the same, so we decide to talk to the gastro about Anakinra. Also after a bit of reading, I ask my cardiologist to add colchicine (they have just recently discovered it has an affect on IL-1 which is why it works for Familial Mediterranean Fever). I have a great three weeks after this, resting heart rate trending down, shortness of breath reducing and energy increasing, and I am thinking the colchicine is working, but then I get pneumonia, and this triggers off a big heart flare (can’t sleep lying flat, pain every night needing opiates to sleep), and the big nasty hives rash is back. Bloods look pretty atrocious, including what looks like an unhappy liver due to congestion.
So, this morning is my second daily shot of Anakinra. All good so far (though the first one stung more than I expected). No miracles yet, but the rash which was bubbling along appears to be subsiding, and I lost half a kilo in water weight (which is a very good thing if you have heart failure), so it is looking promising!
I have definitely entered Guinea pig territory- There is a phase II trial currently running on Anakinra for myocarditis. I suspect we’ll know before their results are published. Cross your fingers (figuratively, not literally) for me!