Pericarditis—Adult

Definition

Pericarditis is irritation and swelling of the pericardium, which is the thin sac that surrounds the heart. Extra fluid that builds up between the 2 layers of the pericardium restricts the heart’s action.
Pericarditis
pericarditis
Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.

Causes

The cause of pericarditis is often unknown. However, possible causes include:

Risk Factors

A weakened immune system may increase your chance of pericarditis.

Symptoms

Chest pain is a common symptom of pericarditis, especially over the left side or center of the chest. It sometimes spreads to the neck and left shoulder. It is usually a sharp, stabbing pain. Deep breathing or lying down may worsen the pain. Sitting up may lessen it. Other symptoms may include:
  • Shortness of breath
  • Coughing
  • Fever and chills
  • Pain when swallowing
  • Weakness and fatigue

Diagnosis

The doctor will ask about your symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will be done. A stethoscope will be used to listen for a grating or rubbing sound in your heart. If the condition is severe, there may be a crackle sound in your lungs. The following tests may be performed:Images of your heart may need to be taken. This can be done with:Your bodily fluid may need to be tested. This can be done with:
  • Blood tests
  • Pericardiocentesis

leave comments
0
Did you like this? Share with your family and friends.
Related Topics:
Current Research From Top Journals



April 2015

A systematic review found that participants given chewing gum after abdominal surgery may have a faster return to normal for their digestive system. Unfortunately, the quality of trials is low and more research will need to be done before this simple solution is confirmed.

dot separator
previous editions

Early Peanut Consumption Associated with Lower Risk of Peanut Allergy in High Risk Children
March 2015

Breastfeeding May Decrease the Risk of Childhood Obesity
February 2015

Tonsillectomy May Reduce Number of Sore Throat Days in Children
February 2015

dashed separator

Advertisement

Our Free Newsletter
click here to see all of our uplifting newsletters »

 

Advertisement

Advertisement

DiggDeliciousNewsvineRedditStumbleTechnoratiFacebook