Lidia Gebre & Bea Cruz

What is it?

  • Swelling and irritation of the thin saclike membrane surrounding the heart (pericardium).

Who is most likely to get it?

  • 20-50 year old men.

What are the symptoms?

  • Sharp, piercing chest pain over the center or left side of the chest
  • Shortness of breath when reclining
  • Heart palpitations
  • Cough
  • An overall sense of weakness, fatigue or feeling sick
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How is it diagnosed?

  • Physical exam
  • Chest x-ray
  • ECG or EKG
  • Cardiac MRI & CT scan
  • Blood test
  • Cardiac catheterization
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Treatment Methods

  • Medication for inflammation & pain, such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs including ibuprofen.
  • Depending on the cause of pericarditis, the doctor may prescribe an antibiotic for bacterial pericarditis or an antifungal medication for fungal pericarditis.
  • If the symptoms last longer than 2 weeks, the doctor may prescribe anti-inflammatory drug called colchicine in combination with the ibuprofen.


  • It can range from mild illness that gets better on its own to a life threatening disease.
  • Fluid build up can complicate disorder
  • Outcome is good if treated right away
  • 2 weeks to 3 months recovery
  • Scarring/ thickening of the pericardium when problem is severe.
  • It can cause long-term problems similar to those of heart failure.
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