Pericardial disease, or pericarditis, is inflammation of any of the layers of the pericardium. Inflammation may develop shortly after a triggering event. Such sudden inflammation is acute pericarditis (see Acute Pericarditis). Other times it may take a few weeks to a few months for pericarditis to develop. Pericarditis that develops within a few weeks to a few months after a triggering illness is called subacute pericarditis. Pericarditis that lasts longer than 6 months is chronic pericarditis Causes of pericarditis include:
• Heart surgery
• Heart attack
• Autoimmune diseases (such as rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, or scleroderma)
HOW IS PERICARDIAL DISEASE DIAGNOSED?
A gastro-specialist would do an examination based on the above symptoms along with doing X-ray and Electrocardiogram to.
HOW IS PERICARDIAL DISEASE TREATED?
Treatment of pericarditis is based on the cause and may include:
• Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory agents (NSAIDs) to decrease the pain and inflammation
• Steroids, used occasionally for severe attacks
• Antibiotics, if the pericarditis is due to infection
• Colchicine, particularly if symptoms last for several weeks or occur on a repetitive basis
DID YOU KNOW?
Most types of pericardial diseases are not harmful. However some of the types may lead to impairment of the heart’s functioning.