Article Text

Download PDFPDF
Human herpes virus 6 causing myocarditis in a fetus: an infectious cause to a congenital heart defect
  1. Carla Ramalho1,
  2. José Monterroso2,
  3. Joana Simões3,
  4. Otília Brandão4,
  5. Nuno Montenegro1
  1. 1Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Cardiovascular Research & Development Unit, Hospital S. João, Faculdade de Medicina do Porto
  2. 2Department of Pediatric Cardiology, Hospital S. João, Porto, Portugal
  3. 3Department of Microbiology, Hospital S. João, Porto, Portugal
  4. 4Department of Pathology, Hospital S. João, Porto, Portugal
  1. Correspondence to Carla Ramalho, Serviço de Obstetrícia, Hospital S. João, Al. Prof. Hêrnani Monteiro, 4202-451 Porto, Portugal; carlaramalho{at}

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.

We read with interest the article published by Comar et al. The authors investigated the presence of human herpes virus 6 (HHV-6) genome in archival explanted myocardial tissue of children who underwent heart transplantation due to cardiomyopathy or congenital heart disease. HHV-6 genome was detected in 11 of the 35 (31.4%) hearts. The authors raise the question of the significance of HHV-6 in heart disease. Does HHV-6 play a role in the development of cardiomyopathy or congenital heart defects?1

We report a case of fetal myocarditis in which a PCR study of cardiac tissue showed the presence of HHV-6. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first case of HHV-6 infection in utero associated with myocarditis and congenital heart abnormality.

A 15-year-old primigravida at 22 weeks gestation was referred to our Hospital due to fetal dilated cardiomyopathy. Her past medical history was irrelevant without febrile illness or suspected viral infection during pregnancy. The fetal echocardiography showed enlargement of the right atrium, left ventricle and right ventricle. The contractility was reduced in the right ventricle …

View Full Text


  • Competing interests None.

  • Patient consent Obtained.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.