Pericarditis is an aggravation of the pericardium. Pericarditis is normally intense – it grows unexpectedly and may last as long as a while. The condition for the most part clears up following 3 months, however once in a while assaults can go back and forth for quite a long time. At the point when you have pericarditis, the layer around your heart is red and swollen, similar to the skin around a cut that gets kindled. Once in a while there is additional liquid in the space between the pericardial layers, which is called pericardial emission. Pericarditis can influence anybody, yet it is generally basic in individuals matured 16 to 65.

Symptoms of Pericarditis

Chest torment is the most well-known side effect of pericarditis. It ordinarily feels sharp or cutting. Be that as it may, a few people have dull, pain-filled or pressure-like chest torment.

  • The agony normally happens behind the breastbone or in the left half of your chest.
  • It might spread to one side shoulder and neck.
  • It frequently deteriorates when you hack, rests or take a full breath.
  • Sitting up and inclining forward causes you to feel good.

Different signs and indications of pericarditis may include:

  • Stomach or leg growing
  • Serious cough
  • Exhaustion or general sensation of shortcoming or being wiped out
  • Poor quality fever
  • Beating or hustling heartbeat (heart palpitations)
  • Windedness when resting

The particular indications you have rely upon the kind of pericarditis you have. Pericarditis is assembled into various classes, as per the example of side effects and how long indications last.

The reason for pericarditis is regularly difficult to decide. Some of the time, specialists can't discover a reason (idiopathic pericarditis).

What causes Pericarditis?

Pericarditis causes can include:

  • Cardiovascular failure or heart medical procedure, which may trigger pericarditis or deferred pericarditis (Dressler's disorder, likewise called post myocardial dead tissue condition or postcardiac injury condition)
  • Contamination
  • Fundamental fiery problems, including lupus and rheumatoid joint pain
  • Injury, for example, injury to your heart or chest because of an engine vehicle or other mishap
  • Other wellbeing issues


Pericarditis is an inflammation of the pericardium, the thin, two-layered, fluid-filled sac that covers the outer surface of your heart. Pericarditis usually develops suddenly and may last from weeks up to several months. The condition usually clears up after three months, but sometimes attacks can come and go for years. Sometimes there is extra fluid in the space between the pericardial layers, which is called pericardial effusion.

Types of pericarditis

  • Acute pericarditis: Inflammation of the pericardium that develops suddenly along with the sudden onset of symptoms.
  • Chronic pericarditis: Inflammation of the pericardium that lasts for three months or longer after the initial acute attack.
  • Constrictive pericarditis: A severe form of pericarditis in which the inflamed layers of the pericardium stiffen, develop scar tissue, thicken, and stick together. Constrictive pericarditis interferes with your heart’s normal function. This usually happens after multiple episodes of acute pericarditis over time.
  • Infectious pericarditis: develops as the result of a viral, bacterial, fungal or parasitic infection.
  • Idiopathic pericarditis: Pericarditis that doesn’t have a known cause.
  • Traumatic pericarditis: develops as the result of an injury to the chest, such as after a car accident.
  • Uremic pericarditis: develops as the result of kidney failure.
  • Malignant pericarditis: develops as a result of cancer growing in your body


The cause of pericarditis is often unknown, though viral infections are a common reason. Pericarditis may occur after a respiratory or digestive system infection. Chronic and recurring pericarditis may be caused by autoimmune disorders such as lupus, scleroderma, and rheumatoid arthritis. These are disorders in which the body’s immune system makes antibodies that mistakenly attack the body’s tissues or cells.

Other possible causes of pericarditis are:

  • Heart attack and heart surgery
  • Kidney failure, HIV/AIDS, cancer, tuberculosis and other health problems
  • Injuries from accidents or radiation therapy
  • Certain medicines, such as phenytoin (an anti-seizure medicine), warfarin and heparin (both blood-thinning medicines), and procainamide (a medicine to treat irregular heartbeats)


About 85 to 90 percent of people with pericarditis have chest pain as a symptom. This can feel like a heart attack, with a sharp or stabbing pain in your chest that comes on suddenly. The pain can be in the middle or left side of your chest, behind the breastbone. Pain may radiate to your shoulders, neck, arms, or jaw.

Other symptoms include:

  • fever
  • weakness or fatigue
  • trouble breathing, especially when lying down
  • heart palpitations
  • dry cough
  • swelling in your feet, legs, and ankles

Your symptoms may worsen when you:

  • lie flat
  • take deep breaths
  • cough
  • swallow

If the cause of your pericarditis is bacterial, you may have a fever, chills, and an above-normal white cell count. If the cause is viral, you may have flu-like or stomach symptoms. Your symptoms may vary, depending on the type of pericarditis you have. 


To diagnose pericarditis, a health care provider will usually examine you and ask questions about your symptoms and medical history. Blood tests are usually done to check for signs of a heart attack, inflammation, and infection. Other tests used to diagnose pericarditis may include:

Electrocardiogram (ECG): An electrocardiogram is a quick and painless test that records the electrical signals in the heart. Sticky patches (electrodes) with wires attached connect to a monitor. They record the electrical signals that make the heart beat. A computer records the information and displays it as waves on a monitor or on paper.

Chest X-ray: A chest X-ray can show changes in the size and shape of the heart. It can help detect an enlarged heart.

Echocardiogram: Sound waves (ultrasound) create images of the moving heart. An echocardiogram can show how well the heart is pumping blood and if there is fluid buildup in the tissue surrounding the heart.

Cardiac computerized tomography (CT) scan: Cardiac CT scans use X-rays to create images of the heart and chest. The test can be used to look for heart thickening that may be a sign of constrictive pericarditis.

Cardiac magnetic resonance imaging (MRI): Cardiac MRI uses a magnetic field and radio waves to create cross-sectional images of the heart. A cardiac MRI scan can reveal thickening, inflammation, or other changes in the thin tissue surrounding the heart.

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