All internal organs are surrounded by a solid capsule. The heart is located in the pericardial sac, or pericardium.

Pericardium is the outer layer of the heart, which is composed of two sheets: the inner, which cover the heart muscle and outdoor. Between these sheets there is a very narrow cavity (pericardial), which contains a minimum amount of liquid. The causes of inflammation of the pericardium are varied. The first symptoms of pericarditis – fever and severe pain. Pericarditis can be dry and exudative. In the first case in the pericardial cavity (between the sheets) there is fluid deficit, in the second – the excess.


  • Pain in the chest.
  • Fever.
  • Sweating.
  • Shortness of breath.


The disease can begin suddenly, without primary symptoms. In this case, the cause is usually a viral or bacterial infection of the heart muscle. Pericarditis may be caused by myocardial infarction. Pericarditis often occurs because of chronic complications (eg, tuberculosis, rheumatic fever) and cancer. In addition, pericarditis can occur with pulmonary embolism, diseases of the esophagus, and various injuries. Occasionally after myocardial infarction inflammation begins because autoimmunity: immune system perceives the heart muscle as foreign tissue. In addition, violation of the integrity of the heart wall can lead to an accumulation of blood in the pericardial cavity. About tuberculous pericarditis doctors say if there are effusion, adhesions or calcification.

Pericarditis is often a consequence of a disease (such as rheumatic fever, kidney disease, pulmonary tuberculosis, influenza). Therefore, in order to reduce the likelihood of pericarditis, patient need timely treatment of chronic and infectious diseases.


The patient should be in bed, so he is usually treated in hospital. In acute pericarditis doctors prescribe anti-inflammatory drugs, antibiotics, or drugs that suppress undesired autoimmune reactions. With a strong expression of calcification or other degenerative changes of the pericardium, the patient is usually operated. However, sometimes a positive result is achieved after a puncture and suction of excess fluid, which is present in the pericardial cavity.

Typically, pericarditis develops in the presence of any underlying disease, so there are no preventive medicines.

Beginning of pericarditis is characterized with retrosternal pain, radiating to the back. When you have a chest pain, you should seek medical attention.

Basic methods of recognition of pericarditis – percussion, auscultation, electrocardiography, cardiac ultrasound, X-ray examination of the heart. More information on the cause of the disease can be provided by an analysis of the ESR (erythrocyte sedimentation rate), and other laboratory tests.

If untreated, pericarditis can disrupt the heart and heart disease, so that the patient is dying. Under the action of excess fluid that has accumulated in the cavity of the pericardium, myocardium is infringed. As a result, the myocardium can not expand enough, so little blood enters the blood vessels.

Pericarditis – a serious and dangerous disease, so patients should be treated by doctor.