Doctor insights on:
How Common Is Pericarditis
You are describing pericarditis, an inflammation of the tissue sac surrounding the heart. It typically causes pain in the chest and sometimes radiates to the side of the neck and back. It can be accompanied by fever, rapid heartbeat, a characteristic "rub" heard with a stethoscope, and characteristic abnormalities on an electrocardiogram. It can be caused by a virus, ...Read more
If the suffix -itis means "inflammation of" what do peritonitis, pleurisy and pericarditis have in common?
Nerves: The pericardium is inflamed when there is pericarditis. There are nerves that connect to the pericardium. So just as you might get pain in an inflamed joint, the inflammation of the pericaridum causes pain. Medications that help such joint pain are also useful for the pain of pericarditis. ...Read moreSee 1 more doctor answer
Usually drugs: Anti-inflammatory medications are the first line treatment - Ibuprofen and others, Colchicine and steroids may be needed. Rarely fluid may need to be drained with a pericardiocentesis. Surgery is rarely needed - a pericardial window or pericardiectomy if the heart is constricted by scarring. ...Read moreSee 1 more doctor answer
Probably not: The usual cause of pericarditis is a virus and/or is "idiopathic" (doctor talk for we don't know the cause). These do not affect family. Rarer causes are cancer, TB or bacterial infections, also unlikely to be familial. Some autoimmune diseases may run in families but are very uncommon. So, in short, almost certainly not a worry. ...Read moreSee 1 more doctor answer
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