Causes of pericarditis, its features and methods of treatment

Inflammation of the heart

Pericarditis is a disease accompanied by inflammatory processes in the pericardium. Most often this condition is secondary, that is, it acts as a complication of other diseases. The manifestations of the disease are different depending on its severity. Pericarditis is not immediately diagnosed. If you suspect a disease, it is necessary to consult a cardiologist. He will identify the symptoms that signal about pericarditis, and prescribe the right treatment.

Structure of the heart


  • Causes of pericarditis
  • Diagnostic measures
  • Symptoms of the disease
  • Classification of the disease
    • Acute infective pericarditis
    • Purulent form
    • Adhesive pericarditis
    • Tuberculous pericarditis
    • Episthenocarditis Pericarditis
    • Idiopathic form
    • Serous pericarditis
    • Hemorrhagic pericarditis
    • Uremic pericarditis
  • Treatment with folk remedies
  • Pericarditis in children and its treatment

Causes of pericarditis

Inflammation of the pericardium is caused by various causes:

The main causes of the disease
  • rheumatism;
  • aortocoronary bypass surgery;
  • tuberculosis;
  • infectious diseases of bacterial, viral, fungal nature;
  • allergies;
  • malignant tumors;
  • blood diseases and much more.

Diagnostic measures

As diagnostic measures it is recommended to conduct the following:

  • Electrocardiography. Pericarditis on the ECG is clearly visible.
ECG in pericarditis, as diagnosis of the disease
  • General analysis of blood and urine.
  • Blood chemistry.
  • Echocardiography.
  • X-ray of the heart and sternum (if necessary).

Symptoms of the disease

  • pain in the chest, heaviness;
  • shortness of breath and a feeling that there is not enough air;
  • irregular heartbeat rhythm;
  • dry cough;
Signs of the disease
  • rapid pulse;
  • general weakness.

Classification of the disease

Depending on the nature of the course of the disease, its frequency and duration, different types of cardiac pericarditis are isolated, which we will discuss in more detail later.

Acute infective pericarditis

The main cause of this form of the disease is considered to be previously transmitted infectious diseases, a special place among which occupy viral infections, as well as acute myocardial infarction, chronic renal failure, autoimmune processes.

Symptoms of pericarditis in acute form are highly variable. This greatly complicates its diagnosis, because doctors can confuse this disease with other heart pathologies. The disease at the initial stage is detected by means of analyzes (including analysis of fluid from the pericardium obtained by puncture), chest examination by means of an X-ray or CT. An ECG, a doppler echocardiography is prescribed.


Important! Self-medication is unacceptable, since acute pericarditis is dangerous for life, with the development of cardiac tamponade or severe compression of the exudate, death occurs.


In order to prevent acute pericarditis from developing into a cardiac tamponade, pericardiocentesis can be used. This ensures the study of the resulting liquid. If such methods do not give the proper result, and relapses occur, it may be necessary to drain the pericardial cavity and biopsy.

Acute pericarditis of the heart is treated with antibiotics and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. If it is required to alleviate the patient's condition, doctors can prescribe intrapericardial administration of glucocorticosteroids. In the absence of cardiac tamponade diuretics are prescribed. But it is necessary to follow the general course of treatment of the underlying cause of the disease.

Purulent form

Purulent pericarditis is an infectious disease that is characterized by the appearance of purulent effusion. At the same time, the symptomatology of the disease demonstrates a pronounced malfunction of hemodynamics: the patient is difficult breathing, shortness of breath develops, painful sensations appear in the heart area, seizures palpitation. Symptoms of intoxication are noted: the temperature rises sharply, sweat spreads throughout the body, chills are felt, pronounced weakness, appetite disappears.


The diagnosis of "purulent pericarditis" is finally confirmed after puncture, echocardiographic and x-ray studies.


Bacterial pericarditis of this form is caused by staphylococcus, streptococcus, pneumococcus and gram-negative flora, and also by their combination. With this pathology, a tamponade can quickly develop: the pressure drops, the pulse becomes paradoxical, the jugular veins swell, fainting and shock develop.

In general, the clinical picture of the disease resembles acute pericarditis. The course of treatment is long, including pericardial drainage and antibiotic therapy. If you do not go to a doctor or follow a course of treatment and recommendations, then purulent pericarditis will cause death of the patient due to intoxication or cardiac tamponade.

If the patient has experienced purulent pericarditis, and the state of his health and life out of danger, this does not mean that you can immediately return to the old life. Now he will have to constantly visit a cardiac surgeon and cardiologist to monitor the condition, strictly follow the recommendations of these specialists, so as not to earn a relapse.

Adhesive pericarditis

Adhesive rheumatic pericarditis often appears after the acute form of the disease. In this case, the heart suffers greatly, because it can not normally perform its functions. There is a worsening of blood circulation, cyanosis, edema of the neck and face, a paradoxical pulse, an increase in liver size. The patient's appetite disappears, shortness of breath, swelling, fatigue and other symptoms of heart failure.


Conservative treatment in this case does not lead to recovery, surgical intervention, shunting is required.


Adhesive pericarditis is also called adhesive. It manifests itself as the result of a variety of forms of the disease. Sometimes, at the moment of the transition of the exudative stage to the productive stage, small spikes appear. To ensure the correctness of the diagnosed "adhesive pericarditis it is recommended to perform X-ray and ultrasound examinations. This will allow to see the presence or absence of accumulations of lime, granulomas or fusions in the pericardium.

Tuberculous pericarditis

Tuberculous pericarditis has a number of characteristics. That is why his treatment in adults and children is treated separately. Mycobacterium tuberculosis acts as the causative agent of the disease, with almost 85% of patients having a primary disease in the lungs. But this does not mean that the other organs can not be damaged by it. Tuberculous pericarditis occurs more often by direct contact. And harmful bacteria without medicinal treatment and therapy completely destroy the lung fibers.

It is possible to develop inflammation of the pericardial sac due to the course of inflammation in the perep pleural cavity, since the bacteria have the opportunity to enter the heart bag with the blood flow.

Studies have shown that the palpable heart (tuberculous pericarditis) is most often seen in people with AIDS. These patients, because of a weak immune system, can not resist the infection that attacks their body. And practically in 80% of such patients there is a lethal outcome in the first year of the disease.

This pathology is very difficult to treat and diagnose. Tuberculosis skin tests in 30-40% show a negative result, even if the disease is present. In this treatment is late, which only aggravates the situation. When the diagnosis of "tuberculous pericarditis" is set, the success of treatment depends entirely on the condition of the lungs. And if the patient is highly susceptible to antibiotics, or if there is no massive decay of the lung fibers, then the treatment prognosis is positive.

Episthenocarditis Pericarditis

Epistenocardic pericarditis most often manifests itself in the acute state of myocardial infarction, when necrosis extends to the outer serosa. Most often this is dry pericarditis, but sometimes exudative. Symptomatic of the disease: a paradoxical pulse, pain in the heart region, which are more acute with a strong inspiration or cough. The general feeling is much less painful than with a heart attack. Most often it is epistenocardic pericarditis, which does not have bright clinical symptoms. Diagnosis is based on the presence of pericardial friction noise. Some patients at the same time after cupping feel a constant pressing pain in the heart.

The disease involves a course of treatment with aspirin, literally every four hours. Glucocorticoids and NSAIDs should not be prescribed, since it is possible to expand the range of the infarction. Epistenocardic pericarditis needs medical treatment under the supervision of a doctor.

Idiopathic form

This form is manifested most often in young people, among the reasons - immune problems and viral diseases. The disease rarely turns into chronic pericarditis. Therefore, complete recovery always occurs, naturally, with the exception of some complications. The clinical picture of the disease somewhat resembles dry myopericarditis with pronounced pain in the chest (heart).

Serous pericarditis

This disease is characterized by the accumulation of serous exudate in the pericardial cavity (from which the name originated). Symptomatic of inflammation involves pain in the heart and dyspnea, a paradoxical pulse. At the same time, the pain is sharp and intense, can grow in strength, be given back and forearms. Because of this, the patient slightly bends forward.


To diagnose the disease, an electrocardiogram and X-ray examination is performed.


Hemorrhagic pericarditis

The disease is characterized by the presence of blood in the pericardium. In this case, the carcinomatous and tuberculous lesions of the pericardium are most often observed. The disease is treated medically. On ECG signs of the disease are well traced, which makes this method of diagnosis the best.

Uremic pericarditis

The disease develops in patients with renal insufficiency, including in people undergoing hemodialysis. The clinical picture of this disease does not have pronounced symptoms, but sometimes it is possible to notice mild pain in the heart, rhythm disturbances, a pericardial friction is audible during auscultation.

Uremic pericarditis is a complication of CRF, which has a disappointing prognosis. The course of treatment of the disease involves an increase in the frequency and timing of hemodialysis sessions. Uremical pericarditis requires the following drugs: glucocorticosteroids and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. The use of anticoagulants is not welcome.

Treatment with folk remedies

Treatment of pericarditis with folk remedies in an acute period is unacceptable. This disease quickly leads to complications and is fatal. In the recovery period, if desired, you can use folk remedies provided that the attending physician has authorized their use. Medicinal infusions are prepared from strawberries, hawthorn, dogrose and St. John's wort.

Treatment of any pericarditis of the heart at home is strictly prohibited, while during the recovery period it will help support the patient's body. But the best option is a sanatorium treatment, where proper nutrition and day regimen are expected. If the patient has overcome the acute form of the disease, he needs additionally and dispensary observation for the next year.

Pericarditis in children and its treatment

Disease in children occurs in the form of serous or fibrinous (dry) pericarditis. The disease rarely makes itself felt in childhood, even more rarely it is diagnosed at this time. The cause of its development can be rheumatism, uremia (with diuretics used), systemic lupus erythematosus, HIV. Pericarditis develops as a complication of these pathologies.

Inflammation of the pericardium in children

Now you know how the disease manifests, and what you need to do when you have symptoms.

To prevent the development of any complications, including inflammation of the membranes of the heart, it is important to treat diseases that can cause them. It is recommended to lead a healthy and active lifestyle. It is always worth eating properly, and not only when there are failures in the work of vital organs. Think about yourself and your health better in youth, and then the problems will bypass you.

Observe the regime of the day, eat portionwise, do not overeat at night, do not forget about fresh fruits and vegetables that contain a large number of useful vitamins and trace elements, drink enough water (two liters in day). It would seem, little things, but these unwritten rules will allow you to become healthier and stronger, and also get rid of many cardiovascular diseases.

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