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Pericardial Disease or pericarditis is a condition in which the pericardium is inflamed. The pericardium covers the heart and consists of three layers. Common causes of Pericardial Disease are infections, heart surgery, heart attack and cancer. Symptoms of Pericardial Disease are:
• Chest pain
• Increase in chest pain while swallowing or coughing
• Low grade fever
• Increased heart rate
HOW IS PERICARDIAL DISEASE DIAGNOSED?
Diagnosis of Pericardial Disease depends on the specific symptoms and clinical evaluation. Electrocardiogram may be ordered by the cardiologist to check for inflammation of the pericardium. In case of constrictive pericarditis additional tests like cardiac catheterization, MRI and CT scan may be performed during diagnosis.
HOW IS PERICARDIAL DISEASE TREATED?
Treatment of Pericardial Disease is based on the symptom and underlying cause. Common treatment methods are nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, steroid medications, anti-biotic and colchicines for repetitive symptoms. In severe cases removal of the stiff pericardium may be required
DID YOU KNOW?
The pericardium helps keep the heart in position, prevent the heart from overfilling with blood, and protect the heart from being damaged by chest infections. However, the pericardium is not essential to life. If the pericardium is removed, there is little measurable effect on the heart's performance.