"Peri" means all around, "cardiac" refers to your heart, and "itis" means inflammation. So, pericarditis is inflammation of the sac (pericardium) that surrounds your heart.
The pericardium is made of 2 thin layers. The space between the layers has some fluid that helps the layers slide easily over one another.
"Acute" means new or sudden. Acute pericarditis is sudden, painful inflammation of the pericardium. Usually, it causes fluid to build up between the layers of the pericardium.
Infection, heart attack, and other health problems, such as lupus and cancer, cause acute pericarditis
You may have a fever and sharp chest pain, but some people don't have any symptoms
To tell if you have acute pericarditis, doctors will do echocardiography
To treat it, doctors will give you medicine to lessen pain and swelling, and they may have you stay in the hospital
Causes of acute pericarditis include:
To tell if you have acute pericarditis, doctors will do an exam to listen to your heart and do:
Doctors may do blood tests and take a sample of fluid or tissue from the pericardium to see what caused the pericarditis.
Doctors treat the cause of acute pericarditis. They also give you medicine to lessen your pain and swelling, such as:
If medicine isn’t helping or a lot of fluid has built up, doctors may: