The pericardium is the membrane (thin sac) that
surrounds the heart. If this membrane becomes inflamed, the condition is known
Pericarditis can be triggered by a number of things.
- Heart Attack (myocardial infarction): Pericarditis
may be caused by the destruction of heart muscle as the result of a heart
attack. In such cases, the pericarditis is acute. Acute means the condition
has a rapid onset and severe symptoms.
- If a person is infected with tuberculosis, tuberculosis
pericarditis can develop.
- Rheumatic diseases, such as rheumatic arthritis,
can cause acute pericarditis.
- Cardiac injury: If the heart is damaged by a
trauma, such as a stab wound, pericarditis may develop.
is most likely to get pericarditis?
While pericarditis can affect both men and women,
it is more commonly found in men who are aged between 20 and 50.
are the symptoms of pericarditis?
The main symptom associated with pericarditis is
chest pain. This pain is often sharp, and is found behind the breastbone, although
it can spread to the neck and shoulders. The pain may become worse if the person
tries to take a deep breath or lie down.
Another common symptom of pericarditis is a fever.
The presence of a fever can help your doctor to distinguish between pericarditis
and an angina attack.
long does pericarditis last?
Some forms can disappear within six weeks. For
example if the pericarditis was caused by a chest trauma, the condition can
disappear within a month.
However some forms may be more long-term, such
as pericarditis resulting from rheumatic diseases.
Yes. While pericarditis in some people may only
last a few weeks and cause no more problems, a recurrence is possible. It is
thought that around one in five people who have suffered with pericarditis will
experience a recurrence.
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