Heart Disease and Pericarditis

Pericardial disease, or pericarditis, is inflammation of any of the layers of the pericardium. The pericardium is a thin tissue sac that surrounds the heart and consists of:

What Causes Pericarditis?

Causes of pericarditis include:

For some people, no cause can be found.

Pericarditis can be acute (occurring suddenly) or chronic (long-standing).

What Are the Symptoms of Pericarditis?

When present, symptoms of pericarditis may include:

How Is Pericarditis Diagnosed?

Your doctor can diagnose pericarditis based on:

Other tests may be performed to determine the cause of pericarditis.

What Is the Treatment for Pericarditis?

Treatment of pericarditis is based on the cause and may include:

Most patients recover from pericarditis in two to four weeks.

What Is Constrictive Pericarditis?

Constrictive pericarditis occurs when the pericardium becomes thickened and scarred. This can make it difficult for the heart to expand with blood.

What Are the Symptoms of Constrictive Pericarditis?

The symptoms of constrictive pericarditis are the same as pericarditis, with the addition of:

How Is Constrictive Pericarditis Diagnosed?

The same tests used to diagnose pericarditis are used to diagnose constrictive pericarditis. Other diagnostic tests used for constrictive pericarditis include:

How Is Constrictive Pericarditis Treated?

Treatment of constrictive pericarditis may include:

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