A report is given on an 8-year-old boy who suddenly and unexpected died. Autopsy findings point to acute heart failure. Microscopic examination of the heart showed increased interstitial and perivasal fibrosis and myocarditis with macrophage infiltration. Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) analysis for parvovirus B19 was positive in heart samples and in the spleen. Immunostaining for parvoviral surface antigens was negative. Although the virus does not appear to have infected the cardiomyocytes, we speculate that myocarditis arose from immunological cross-reaction to epitopes shared between the virus and the myocardium.
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