Overview

Pericarditis is swelling and irritation of the pericardium, the thin saclike membrane surrounding your heart. Pericarditis often causes chest pain and sometimes other symptoms. The sharp chest pain associated with pericarditis occurs when the irritated layers of the pericardium rub against each other.

Pericarditis usually begins suddenly but doesn't last long (acute). When symptoms develop more gradually or persist, pericarditis is considered chronic.

Most cases are mild and usually improve on their own. Treatment for more-severe cases may include medications and, rarely, surgery. Early diagnosis and treatment may help to reduce the risk of long-term complications from pericarditis.

Pericarditis care at Mayo Clinic

June 16, 2017
References
  1. Ferri FF. Pericarditis. In: Ferri's Clinical Advisor 2017. Philadelphia, Pa.: Elsevier; 2017. https://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed Feb. 14, 2017.
  2. Bennett JE, et al., eds. Myocarditis and pericarditis. In: Mandell, Douglas, and Bennett's Principles and Practice of Infectious Diseases. 8th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2015. https://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed Feb. 14, 2017.
  3. Imazio M, et al. Evaluation and treatment of pericarditis: A systematic review. JAMA. 2015;314:1498.
  4. What is pericarditis? American Heart Association. http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/More/What-is-Pericarditis_UCM_444931_Article.jsp. Accessed Feb. 14, 2017.
  5. What is pericarditis? National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/peri/#. Accessed Feb. 16, 2017.
  6. Imazio M, et al. Recurrent pericarditis. La Revue de Médecine Interne. In press. Accessed Feb. 14, 2017.
  7. Imazio M, et al. Recurrent pericarditis: Modern approach in 2016. Current Cardiology Reports. 2016;18:50.
  8. Raval J, et al. The role of colchicine in pericarditis: A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomised trials. Heart, Lung and Circulation. 2015;24:660.
  9. Riggin EA. Allscripts EPSi. Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Feb. 16, 2017.
  10. Riggin EA. Allscripts EPSi. Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Jan. 10, 2017.
  11. Lopez-Jimenez F (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. March 1, 2017.

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