Pericarditis: symptoms and treatment

In order to work the heart without interference and undue friction, it is in a special elastic membrane – the pericardium. Pericarditis is an inflammation of the pericardium. Disease in most cases affects older women, in children is rare.

Pathology primarily affects the blood circulation in the body, as inflammation of the pericardium, and in some cases the fluid can compress the heart, significantly limiting the amount of cavities and blood supply. With a significant allocation of exudate shows emergency measures to eliminate interference with the work of the heart.

The causes of disease

Pericarditis occurs in the following cases:

  • In diseases of the heart (myocarditis, infarction, endocarditis).
  • As a consequence of injury of the heart. Traumatic pericarditis may be a complication of the operation.
  • As the result of malfunctions of some internal organs. For example, in renal failure uremic pericarditis develops.
  • As a consequence of the finding of infection in the body (tuberculosis, viral diseases, scarlet fever or flu, worm infestations, fungal infections).
  • The result of drug Allergy (for example, the use of Phenylbutazone), chemotherapy or radiotherapy.
  • With the development of pericarditis signs of the underlying disease may recede into the background, because the patient will be more likely to disturb heart condition. In this case, it is necessary to conduct a competent differential diagnosis to determine the primary pathology and associated deviations in work of all systems and organs. If the effusion develops rapidly, the cause of death could be established only on autopsy. It should be noted that largely of pericarditis the cause can not be established, so the diagnosis is «idiopathic pericarditis».

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    Acute pericarditis

    The most difficult is acute pericarditis. The disease develops from several hours to one to two weeks. The acute form of the disease occurs most often for the following reasons:

    • penetration of the infection;
    • viral etiology;
    • heart attack;
    • sequel of trauma;
    • use of anticoagulants or antiarrhythmic medications;
    • the influence of toxic substances.

    Chronic pericarditis

    The disease develops slowly, symptoms may not appear for several months. There are three forms of chronic pericarditis:

  • pericardial – effusion in the cavity;
  • adhesive, or so-called adhesive – with the presence of adhesions and scarring;
  • mixed – includes both the presence of adhesions, and exudate.
  • Symptoms

    Patients with pericarditis in an acute form feel symptoms faster than those who have development of pathology was delayed. Here are the most common symptoms of pericarditis without effusion:

  • Cardiac pain radiating to the shoulder blade, neck or shoulder. These feelings remind patients of angina, for which they take Nitroglycerin. As a rule, Nitroglycerin pain is not removed, but temporarily help analgesics.
  • Shortness of breath, coughing.
  • Palpitations, feeling of anxiety.
  • Chills, fever.
  • Symptoms of exudative pericarditis are somewhat different. The patient may complain of:

  • pain in the heart;
  • feeling of compression in the chest;
  • the severity of the ingestion of food;
  • fever;
  • swelling of the face and neck;
  • the appearance of bluish skin.
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    Diagnostic pathology

    Diagnosis and treatment of the disease do cardiologists or internists, but in some cases may need surgical treatment of pericarditis. At the initial stage of examination, the heart listens, identifies the sound defines the limits of authority, done an electrocardiogram. Additionally, the doctor prescribes the General and biochemical blood tests, immunological study. To clarify the amount of fluid the patient receives a CT scan of the organ. Through this study, you can see changes in the heart under the influence of pathology.

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    Diagnosis of acute pericarditis may complicate the presence of significant amounts of exudate. Usually, this indicates that pericarditis is tuberculosis or neoplastic nature. To determine the quality of fluid is a biopsy (it is noted the presence of pus, blood, etc.). If purulent pericarditis, this papercard, if the blood – hemopericardium, and in the absence of blood or pus given name hydroperiod.

    The slow increase of fluid in pericardium symptoms are manifested weakly, and with quick – on the contrary, until the compression of the heart decompensated stage, when the pressure of the fluid leads to increased pressure within the pericardium. The volume of fluid in this case ranges from one hundred and fifty milliliters to two liters. Note that this amount of fluid is rare, mostly evacuated to about seven hundred milliliters of liquid. The characteristic sign of the presence of a significant amount of fluid – shortness of breath, hoarseness of voice, nausea and hiccups.

    The treatment of the disease

    With the development of pericarditis patients prohibited activity, and in its acute form and is shown to bed. The mainstay of treatment, application of drugs and diet (be sure to limit the salt intake).

    Fibrinous pericarditis, i.e. without the presence of effusion, can be treated symptomatically, i.e. primary action is directed on elimination of symptoms of the disease. The patient is prescribed analgesics to relieve pain, anti-inflammatory drugs, metabolic remedies, and vitamins.

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    Infectious pericarditis with pus exudate requires additional antibiotics that are administered intravenously, and if necessary, directly into the cavity of the pericardium after the evacuation of fluid from the cavity. If exudative pericarditis was caused by tuberculosis, the majority of drugs prescribed for the treatment of the underlying disease, and symptoms of pericarditis will eventually subside.

    The allergic nature of pericarditis requires the use of glucocorticoids that suppress the development of allergic process.

    In exudative pericarditis with a significant accumulation of fluid is a puncture and the fluid is removed, and if the result of the disease, and adhesions have formed or deformed parts of the pericardium, is shown surgical intervention.