Acute Pericarditis

Acute pericarditis is a short-term inflammation of the pericardium, often occurring after a viral upper respiratory tract infection like a sore throat or a cold.

If left untreated, acute pericarditis may lead to life-threatening heart conditions like cardiac tamponade and constrictive pericarditis.
  • Symptoms
  • Fever

    • Greater than or equal to 38°C (100.4°F), Less than 38°C (100. 4°F)


    Chest discomfort

    • Center of the chest, Left side

    • Occurs or worsens with lying on back

    • Relieved by sitting up and leaning forward

    • Occurs or worsens with deep inspiration, Occurs or worsens with laughing, coughing or sneezing

    • Rapidly developing

    • Sudden, intense spike of pain


    Cough with mucus or without mucus

    • Dry


    Difficulty breathing


    Rapid heart rate

  • Risk factors
  • Recent upper respiratory tract infection

    History of heart attack

    Lung cancer

    or Hodgkin lymphoma

    or Breast cancer

    or Kidney cancer

    or Melanoma

    or Radiation therapy

    • Chest

    Thick and hard skin

    Recent chest injury or trauma

    Rheumatoid arthritis

    Kidney failure or on dialysis

    Polyarteritis Nodosa

    History of cardiac surgery

    Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE)

  • Treatment
  • Acute pericarditis is typically treated with NSAIDs to reduce pain and inflammation, but it may also be treated with colchicine to help prevent recurrent pericarditis, or corticosteroids if NSAIDs and colchicine seem to have no effect.
  • Recommended specialist
  • If you have Acute Pericarditis, then a visit to a cardiologist is highly recommended.

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