WUHAN, March 13 (Xinhua) -- Cardiologists in central China's Hubei Province said that they had developed a new treatment regimen for fulminant myocarditis.
A team led by Wang Daowen, with Tongji Hospital in the city of Wuhan, has worked out a treatment regimen called "Life support-based comprehensive treatment regimen," as published on Science China Life Sciences, an academic journal cosponsored by the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the National Natural Science Foundation of China in late February.
In the treatment regimen, the team uses mechanical techniques such as positive pressure respiration or intra-aortic balloon pump to support the patients' lives, together with an immunomodulatory therapy and an application of neuraminidase inhibitors.
Fulminant myocarditis is primarily caused by an unknown virus infection and commonly starts with flu-like symptoms, followed by severe heart injuries leading to refractory heart failure or sudden death.
"According to recent reports, the heart disease features an appallingly high mortality rate of over 50 percent, much higher than chronic heart failure caused by ordinary cardiac diseases, such as coronary heart disease," Wang said.
"We have found that it's the virus-induced inflammation rather than the virus itself that causes death," Wang said.
With the new treatment regimen, 81 patients with fulminant myocarditis have been treated and survived at the hospital.
Wang and his team are now busy training more cardiologists to reduce the mortality rate using the new treatment regimen in China.
"Although there's still a long way to go in the research of fulminant myocarditis in the world for the precise mechanism of this disease remains unclear, our efforts have proved that this disease will no longer be fatal if treated properly," Wang said.