Myocarditis generally occurs as a result of an infectious agent, but it also can be caused by radiation or other toxic physical agents, such as lead. A variety of drugs, including phenothiazines, lithium and chronic use of cocaine, may also lead to myocarditis. In the United States, the most common cause of myocarditis is viral infection (e.g., coxsackie, Group B, ECHO), but a variety of bacterial, protozoal, parasitic, helminthic (such as trichinosis), and rickettsial infections can produce inflammation of the heart.

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