When is pericarditis dangerous?

Last Update: April 20, 2022

This is a question our experts keep getting from time to time. Now, we have got the complete detailed explanation and answer for everyone, who is interested!

Asked by: Ms. Edna Schneider DDS
Score: 4.6/5 (34 votes)

Although the pain can be scary, pericarditis isn't dangerous for most people, and the symptoms resolve on their own. If you're worried the chest pain is a heart attack, seek care right away.

When should I go to the hospital for pericarditis?

You may need to be treated in the hospital if you have a fever higher than 100.4°F, a high white blood cell count, or a lot of fluid in the sac around your heart.

What happens if pericarditis is left untreated?

If left untreated, cardiac tamponade can be fatal. Chronic constrictive pericarditis is a rare disease that develops over time. It leads to scar-like tissue forming throughout the pericardium. The sac becomes stiff and can't move properly.

Is pericarditis life threatening?

This life-threatening condition can develop when too much fluid collects in the pericardium. Excess fluid puts pressure on the heart and doesn't allow it to fill properly. Less blood leaves the heart, causing a dramatic drop in blood pressure. Cardiac tamponade requires emergency treatment.

How do you know if pericarditis is serious?

The most common signs of pericarditis include chest pain, fever, weakness and tiredness, coughing, trouble breathing, pain when swallowing, and palpitations (irregular heartbeats). If pericarditis is suspected, the healthcare provider will listen to your heart very carefully.

Pericarditis: Symptoms, Pathophysiology, Causes, Diagnosis and Treatments, Animation

25 related questions found

How long can you live with pericarditis?

Long-term survival after pericardiectomy depends on the underlying cause. Of common causes, idiopathic constrictive pericarditis has the best prognosis (88% survival at 7 years), followed by constriction due to cardiac surgery (66% at 7 years).

What does pericarditis pain feel like?

A common symptom of acute pericarditis is a sharp, stabbing chest pain, usually coming on quickly. It's often is in the middle or left side of the chest, and there may be pain in one or both shoulders. Sitting up and leaning forward tends to ease the pain, while lying down and breathing deep worsens it.

Who is at risk for pericarditis?

Who is at risk for pericarditis? Pericarditis affects people of all ages, but men ages 16 to 65 are more likely to develop it. Among those treated for acute pericarditis, up to 30% may experience the condition again, with a small number eventually developing chronic pericarditis.

Can pericarditis be brought on by stress?

Stress cardiomyopathy (CMP) has been described as a complication of post-myocardial infarction pericarditis (Dressler syndrome). Stress CMP can also be complicated by pericarditis. We describe the novel observation where idiopathic pericarditis is the primary disease, which precipitated stress CMP.

What is the best treatment for pericarditis?

Your doctor may prescribe a medicine called colchicine and a steroid called prednisone. If a bacterial infection is causing your pericarditis, your doctor will prescribe an antibiotic or other medicine. You may need to stay in the hospital during treatment so your doctor can check you for complications.

Can an ECG detect pericarditis?

Diagnostic Tests

During this test, the electrodes in the ECG are placed on the chest skin for measuring the electrical function of the heart. Distinctive changes in the electrical activity of the heart can be easily detected by the ECG in people with pericarditis.

How do you fix pericarditis?

Treatment
  1. Pain relievers. Pericarditis pain can usually be treated with over-the-counter pain relievers, such as aspirin or ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, others). ...
  2. Colchicine (Colcrys, Mitigare). This drug reduces inflammation in the body. ...
  3. Corticosteroids. Corticosteroids are strong medications that fight inflammation.

Should you exercise with pericarditis?

In conclusion, pericarditis is a common inflammatory condition of the pericardium with multiple etiologies. Current guidelines recommend restriction of intense physical activity and return to activity once there is no evidence of active inflammation.

Does pericarditis hurt all the time?

The most common symptom of pericarditis is chest pain. This may develop suddenly and be experienced as a sharp, stabbing sensation behind the breastbone on the left side of the body. However, for some people there may be a constant, steady pain, or more of a dull ache or feeling of pressure.

Is pericarditis an emergency?

Acute pericarditis can also represent a medical emergency due to chest pain of upsetting intensity. Decompensations in chronic advanced constriction and in the clinical course of purulent pericarditis necessitate critical care as well.

When should I worry about pericarditis?

Pericarditis causes chest pain and a high temperature. It's not usually serious, but it can cause serious health problems. Get medical advice if you have chest pain.

Can you drink alcohol if you have pericarditis?

Moderate alcohol consumption ( a glass of wine per day with meals) should not cause problems, unless it clashes with medication you be taking.

What virus can cause pericarditis?

The following viral infections can lead to pericarditis:
  • Usual viral and cold meningitis caused by a group of viruses (enteroviruses)
  • Glandular fever.
  • Pneumonia and bronchitis caused by adenoviruses.
  • Infections caused by cytomegalovirus.
  • Infection caused by the herpes simplex virus (genital herpes and cold sores)

Can I fly with pericarditis?

Pericarditis and myocarditis usually require temporary restriction and return to flying duties is usually dependent on a lack of recurrent symptoms and acceptable imaging and electrophysiological investigations.

How do you test for pericarditis?

How is pericarditis diagnosed?
  1. Chest X-ray to see the size of your heart and any fluid in your lungs.
  2. Electrocardiogram (ECG or EKG) to look for changes in your heart rhythm. ...
  3. Echocardiogram (echo) to see how well your heart is working and check for fluid or pericardial effusion around the heart.

What is the prognosis of pericarditis?

PROGNOSIS — Patients with acute idiopathic or viral pericarditis have a good long-term prognosis. Cardiac tamponade rarely occurs in patients with acute idiopathic pericarditis and is more common in patients with a specific underlying etiology such as malignancy, tuberculosis, or purulent pericarditis.

Can pericarditis go unnoticed?

Diagnosing Pericarditis

Most mild to moderate pericarditis goes undetected from lack of symptoms. In the more severe cases, the most common symptom is pain or discomfort on the anterior chest, which may extend to the left side of the chest and to the left shoulder.

Why do I feel a weird feeling in my chest?

This fleeting feeling like your heart is fluttering is a called a heart palpitation, and most of the time it's not cause for concern. Heart palpitations can be caused by anxiety, dehydration, a hard workout or if you've consumed caffeine, nicotine, alcohol, or even some cold and cough medications.

Is pericarditis linked to Covid?

Pericarditis is a potential presentation of COVID-19. COVID-19 can have an atypical presentation with non-respiratory symptoms.

Is pericarditis considered heart disease?

Pericarditis doesn't make you more likely to develop other types of coronary heart disease in the future. Although pericarditis doesn't increase your risk for other types of coronary heart disease, it is still important control your blood pressure, diabetes and blood cholesterol, and lead a healthy lifestyle.