Pericarditis – a fluid in the pericardial cavity, and irritation, which represents the pericardial sac. In most cases, the cause of pericarditis is not known or believed to be caused by a viral infection. Rarer causes include heart attack, a bacterial infection, and trauma or chest radiotherapy for cancer. Pericarditis also can cause kidney failure, HIV infection, tuberculosis, hypothyroidism, autoimmune diseases, or using certain medications.
The main symptom is severe pain in the center of the chest or in the left half. The pain may worsen in the supine position or with deep breathing. The pain can last for hours or days, and relief does not occur even during rest. It differs from the pain in the chest, called angina, which last for a short period of time and usually goes away on holiday. Other symptoms can include mild fever, weakness, severe fatigue, cough, hiccups, and muscle aches.
Pericarditis usually does not represent a particular danger, but chest pain can be caused by something more serious, such as a heart attack. In addition, early diagnosis and early treatment can prevent the passage of pericarditis in a more severe condition. Therefore, you should immediately call a doctor if you have a sudden chest pain of any type.
Pericarditis usually caused no serious problems. For most people, improvement occurs within 7-10 days. If problems arise, they may include: accumulation of fluid in the pericardial cavity (pericardial effusion), sudden increase in pressure on the heart and sudden obstacle to pump enough blood. This is due to the pressure exerted by rapidly accumulated fluid; constrictive pericarditis, which occurs due to pericarditis, which appeared again and lasted longer than usual. Pericardium thickens and becomes more rigid. This complicates the work of the heart in pumping blood.
Besides the usual symptoms with constrictive pericarditis appears shortness of breath, fatigue, symptoms of heart failure (swelling of the legs and feet, unexplained weight gain), and atrial fibrillation.
If you have complications of pericarditis, then you have a risk of acute heart failure. Symptoms of acute heart failure include sudden severe shortness of breath caused, incorrect or rapid heartbeat and cough with pink frothy sputum. Acute heart failure is a medical emergency that requires immediate medical care.
During the physical exam your doctor will listen to your heart. He or she will collect information about your medical history, for example, is not tolerated if you recent viral infection, radiation therapy for cancer or tuberculosis.
Your doctor may want you to several surveys, including an electrocardiogram, chest X-ray and blood tests. If the chest X-ray shows fluid collection, or if your symptoms last longer than 10 days, your doctor will prescribe you a survey, which is called an echocardiogram.
If there were no complications, pericarditis usually goes away by itself within a few weeks. Your doctor may suggest you take painkillers, which are sold without a prescription in order to help you reduce the pain and discomfort. In some cases, the doctor may prescribe more powerful medicines.
Treatment should be focused on the root cause of pericarditis, and may include: non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) to reduce pain and inflammation. Steroids are commonly used in severe cases. Antibiotics are used in the event of an infectious origin of pericarditis.
Your doctor may carry out drainage of excess fluid (pericardial effusion) from the space between the pericardium and heart. This procedure is called pericardiocentesis. At the same time to drain the fluid used needle and sometimes a thin tube called a catheter. The need for pericardiocentesis is usually determined by how well your heart is functioning. If the liquid is gradually accumulate and the heart has adapted to the increasing amount of fluid around, first try to treat the root cause of pericarditis.
Pericardium performs the following important features: captures the heart in the mediastinum and admits his bias at any position of the body reduces the friction of the heart with the surrounding organs, acts as a barrier to the spread of infection with inflammation of the lungs and pleura; limits the expansion of the ventricles to a certain physiological limits. Therefore, treatment of diseases of pericarditis is important and requires special attention.