Pericardial disease refers to the group of conditions that affect the pericardium. The pericardium is a double-layered sac that covers your heart. This sac protects the heart from infection and keeps the heart from getting too large when blood volume is high.
*Pericarditis can be acute (occurring suddenly) or chronic (long-standing)
While not always present, symptoms of pericarditis may include:
Constrictive pericarditis will be accompanied by all the same symptoms, with the addition of the following:
Chronic pericarditis is usually associated with fluid around the heart (pericardial effusion). If you begin experiencing chest pain, seek medical care immediately.
Causes of pericardial disease, specifically pericarditis are:
After taking a detailed medical history, your doctor will then conduct a thorough physical exam and assess your symptoms. If you are a likely candidate for pericarditis, your doctor may use your blood work and the one or more of the following tests to diagnose your condition:
Once a diagnosis has been reached, your doctor will build an individualized treatment plan aimed at the cause of your pericarditis. The severity of your condition also plays a large role in treatment as mild cases of the disorder usually resolve themselves without treatment.
If your doctor determines that your pericarditis requires treatment, you will likely undergo some combination of the following: