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Fatal parvoviral myocarditis: A case report and review of literature

Fabio Tavora1, Luis F Gonzalez-Cuyar1, Jay S Dalal2, Michael T O'Malley1, Richard Zhao3, Hong Q Peng1 and Allen P Burke1*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Pathology, University of Maryland, Baltimore, MD, USA

2 Department of Internal Medicine, University of Maryland, Baltimore, MD, USA

3 Department of Molecular Diagnostics, University of Maryland, Baltimore, MD, USA

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Diagnostic Pathology 2008, 3:21  doi:10.1186/1746-1596-3-21

Published: 30 April 2008



Histologically documented cases of parvoviral myocarditis are exceedingly rare.

Case presentation

Here, we report a 41-year old African American immunocompetent patient who died of parvoviral myocarditis after a 10 day illness characterized by fever, headaches, generalized arthralgias, and a maculopapular rash.

Autopsy revealed an infiltrate myocarditis composed primarily of T-lymphocytes and macrophages associated with extensive myocardial fibrosis. The diagnosis of parvovirus was determined by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) on both pre-mortem serum and post-mortem myocardial tissue


DNA was extracted from tissue and serum and primers were used to amplify DNAsequences of parvovirus B19 using nested polymerase chain reaction (PCR).


The diagnosis of parvovirus should be considered in cases of fatal myocarditis, and diagnosis can be confirmed at autopsy by molecular techniques.