Pericarditis is a condition where Inflammation worsens around the pericardium,  a fibrous tissue that surround the Heart.

The primary symptoms is chest pain or discomfort.

Other symptoms also exist.

 Two layers of the Pericardium

1.)  Inner visceral layer

2.)  Outer parietal layer

Fluid between the two layers is normal.

This fluid allows for lubrication and ease of movement.

However, when a serious inflammatory process occurs, there can be a large amount of fluid.

Three Classifications of Pericarditis

1.)  Acute   (<6 weeks)

-  More recent presentation of symptoms.
-  Usually a short duration of symptoms.
-  Acute is more common than Chronic.

2.)  Subacute  (6 weeks to 6 months)

-   An inbetween duration and symptoms.

3.)  Chronic   (>6 months)

-   Much longer duration
–   Less common than Acute

Causes:

•    Bacterial
•    Viral
•    Uremia
•    Autoimmune diseases
•    Neoplasms
•    Drugs
•    Surgery
•    Trauma
•    other

Symptoms

-    Chest pain
-    Chest discomfort
-    Fever
-    Upper respiratory infection may precede
-    Renal failure may precede
-    Night sweats
-    Fever
-    Fatigue
-    Depends largely on cause

Diagnosis

MRI or CT may be appropriate

Cardiac enzymes need to be checked

EKG can be helpful

Treatment

•         Aspirin
•         Steroids
•         Indomethacin
•         Colchicine
•         Dialysis in uremic pericarditis in some patients
•         Pericardiocentesis

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