Inflammations and infections of the heart – clarifications

Imaging enables a precise diagnosis of acute and chronic inflammation of the heart valves, the heart muscle (myocardium) and the pericardium.

One of the most common causes of inflammation of the heart muscle (myocarditis, Figure 1) or the pericardium (pericarditis, Figure 2) is infection by viruses or bacteria. Autoimmune diseases or toxic reactions are less frequently responsible. Sarcoidosis(Figure 3) as a granulomatous multisystem disease poses a particular diagnostic challenge. Imaging can be used to assess various organ involvement, in particular cardiac manifestations and their prognostic implications. Other important diseases are endomyocardial fibrosis or changes in the heart, e.g. in the case of a COVID-19 infection.

Cardiac magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is the gold standard for the imaging diagnosis of these diseases.

In contrast, cardiac CT is used for imaging inflammations or infections of the heart valves (so-called endocarditis). With CT it is possible to detect changes such as vegetations, pseudoaneurysms or valve dehiscences(Figure 4). This is also possible with CT in patients who have already had a heart valve replaced or operated on.

Responsible squad

Hatem Alkadhi, Prof. Dr. med.

Senior Attending Physician, Vice Director of the Institute, Institute for Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology

Tel. +41 44 255 36 62
Specialties: Multimodal cardiovascular imaging, Emergency radiology, Computed tomography

Robert Manka, Prof. Dr. med.

Senior Attending Physician, Institute for Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology
Senior Attending Physician, Department of Cardiology

Tel. +41 44 255 12 51
Specialties: Cardiac imaging (heart MRI & heart CT), Interventional cardiology, Consultation hours for complex coronary interventions

Malgorzata Polacin, PD Dr. med.

Attending Physician, Institute for Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology

Tel. +41 43 253 15 21
Specialties: Cardiovascular imaging (cardiac MRI, cardiac CT), Oncological imaging

Alexander Gotschy, Dr. med.

Attending Physician, Department of Cardiology
Attending Physician, Institute for Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology

Tel. +41 43 253 78 90
Specialties: Interventional cardiology, Cardiac magnetic resonance imaging (cardiac MRI), Imaging of congenital heart defects

Oliver Müggler, Dr. med.

Attending Physician, Institute for Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology

Tel. +41 43 253 78 69

Verena Charlotte Wilzeck, Dr. med.

Attending Physician, Institute for Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology
Attending Physician, Department of Cardiology

Tel. +41 43 253 50 37

For patients

As a patient, you cannot register directly for a consultation. Please get a referral from your primary care physician, specialist.

For referrer

University Hospital Zurich
Institute for Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology
Rämistrasse 100
8091 Zurich

Tel. +41 43 254 41 10
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