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Pericarditis: Causes, Symptoms and Treatment (1)


Pericarditis is a problem which often causes chest pain and sometimes, other symptoms also occur. This is normally short lived and a short lived problem if cured on time. – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Pericarditis: Causes, Symptoms and Treatment (1)

  • There are many problems related to the heart and
    it is very important for people to know about all
    these diseases and problems so that they can
    prevent them. One such problem is Pericarditis
    which is the occurrence of swelling and
    irritation on the pericardium, which is thin
    sac-like membrane that surrounds your heart.
    Pericarditis is a problem which often causes
    chest pain and sometimes, other symptoms also
    occur. This is normally short lived and a short
    lived problem if cured on time. When symptoms
    develop more gradually or persist, the
    Pericarditis is considered chronic. The sharp
    chest pain associated with this problem normally
    occurs when the inflamed or irritated two layers
    of the pericardium rub against each other.Under
    normal circumstances, the two-layered pericardial
    sac that surrounds your heart contains a small
    amount of lubricating fluid.

  • In Pericarditis,the sac becomes inflamed and the
    resulting friction from the inflamed sac leads to
    chest pain which becomes a problem for the
    patient. Though, finding out the reason as to why
    this problem occurred is next to impossible but
    most of the doctors have identified the reason
    behind this problem to be a viral infection.This
    problem can also occur after the patient has
    suffered a major heart attack and this is due to
    the irritation occurring on the underlying and
    damaged muscles of the heart. Moreover, a delayed
    form of Pericarditis may occur weeks after a
    heart attack or heart surgery because of antibody
    formation.This delayed Pericarditis is also
    known as Dressler's syndrome which creates a lot
    of problems for the patients. Many experts
    believe Dressler's syndrome is due to an
    autoimmune response or a mistaken inflammatory
    response by the body to its own tissues following
    the heart and its tissues.

  • There are two kinds of Pericarditis happening to
    people. One is known as acute which only lasts
    for a few weeks and another is known as the
    chronic one which lasts for more than six months.
    If one is suffering from the acute Pericarditis,
    the most common symptom are sharp, stabbing chest
    pain behind the breastbone or in the left side of
    your chest which creates a lot of pain in the
    patient. However, some people suffering from the
    acute phase of this problem describe their chest
    pain as dull, achy or pressure-like instead, and
    of varying intensity which tends to create a lot
    of problem for them though for short durations.
    Also the pain of acute Pericarditis might move to
    the left side of the shoulder and neck.It often
    intensifies when the patient lie down or inhale
    deeply. Coughing,taking a deep breath or
    swallowing food also may make the pain worse and
    makes this problem also more complicated. Sitting
    up and leaning forward can ease the pain.

  • At times, it may be difficult to distinguish
    pericardial pain from the pain that occurs with a
    heart attack.Talking of the chronic phase of
    this problem, it is normally associated with
    chronic inflammation which further results into
    fluid surrounding the heart which in medical
    terms is known as pericardial effusion. Some of
    the most common kinds of symptoms identified in
    people suffering from this problem are
  • Shortness of breath when one reclines
  • Sharp or piercing pain in the chest and
    especially spreading towards the center and left
    side of the chest
  • Having mild and low grade fever
  • Sudden swelling in the abdomen and leg of the
  • Persistent dry cough

  • The treatment in viral or idiopathic
    pericarditis is with aspirin, or non-steroidal
    anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs such as
    ibuprofen). Colchicine may be added to the
    above. Severe cases may require
    Pericardiocentesis to treat pericardial
    effusion/tamponade antibiotics to treat
    tuberculosis or other bacterial
    causes. Steroids are used in acute pericarditis
    but are not favored because they increase the
    chance of recurrent pericarditis. in rare cases,
    surgery in cases of constrictive pericarditis,

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