Is it likely that my myocarditis will recur?

Around 5 years ago I had been diagnosed with myocarditis. I had to be in the hospital for around a week and after a month, I was back at school. Around a year later, they planned an MRI for me to see if everything was okay with my heart. The MRI came back clean and they told me that my heart was totally fine. Now I’m wondering how big are the chances for myocarditis to return? I’m having small chest pains lately and I wonder if it’s myocarditis or just anxiety. My case of myocarditis was pretty mild, I guess, but it’s still something that was pretty scary at the time. I hope you can answer my question.

Submitted by Raf from Netherlands on 07/27/2017

Dear Raf:
It is thought that most cases of myocarditis are mild and don’t get medical attention. For example we think that many are triggered by an immune (allergic) response to a viral infection. In susceptible individuals, viral antibodies produced by the body react with heart muscle. It seems that some viral strains are more likely to do this than others. In most cases (like yours) the process resolves. The recurrence rate is unknown, but probably low.
However, I recommend that my patients get periodic echocardiograms, especially if they think they are having recurrent symptoms. Your cardiologist will suggest the frequency of follow up in your specific case.