What is Pericarditis and Heart Disease

Pericardial disease, or pericarditis, is the inflammation of any of layers of the pericardium. The pericardium is a ten tissue sac that surrounds the heart and consist of the following parts.

Visceral pericardium – an internal layer that envelopes the entire heart.
A middle fluid layer to prevent friction between the visceral pericardium and parietal pericardium. This layer extends s to the beginning of the great vessels begin of the great vessels becoming one with the parietal layer of the serous pericardium.

The parietal periculum – an outer layer mad of fibrous tissue. This is a superficial layer of the pericardium. It is made of loose connective tissue as well as dense tissue that protect the heart, anchoring it to the surround walls and preventing it from overfilling with blood.

This pericardium fixes the heart to the mediastinum, gives protection against infection and provides the lubrication for the heart.

The pericardium is a double-walled sac containing the heart and the roots of the great vessels. Great vessels are often referred to large vessels that bring blood to the heart. This great vessel consists of the superior vena cava. Inferior vena cava
Pulmonary arteries
Pulmonary veins
Aorta

What causes Pericarditis:

  • Heart surgery
  • Heart attack
  • Trauma
  • Infections
  • Tumors
  • Radiation
  • Cancer
  • Autoimmune disease,s cute as lupus, rheumatoid arthritis and scleroderma.

However there some people in which causes cannot be found.

Pericarditis can be acute Meaning is occurring suddenly or chronic (long standing)

What are the symptoms of Pericarditis.

  • Low-grade fever
  • increases in heart rate
  • The person will feel sharp and frequent pain, which is located in the center of the chest. The pain may affect the shoulders, neck and sometimes the back and arms. These can be made worst when someone lies down swallowing or coughing. The pain can sometimes be alleviated by sitting forward.

How is the Pericarditis Diagnosed

  • Your doctor can diagnose pericarditis based on reported symptoms.
  • Electrochem EKG – This si a test the checks the problems with the electrical activity of the heart. The EKG shows the heart’s electrical activity as line tracings on paper.
  • Physical Exam is a necessary and essential part of a doctor’s visit. This consists of a routine physical. He doctor will do a thorough or brief and spend time listening to the concerns and check your vital signs.

What is the treatment for Pericarditis

There are several option for pericarditis treatment

  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory agents (NSAIDS) can decrease the pain and inflammation
  • Antibiotics, if the pericarditis is due to infection
  • Steroids use in cases when there are severe attacks
  • Colchicine, particularly if symptoms last for several weeks or occur on a continual basis.

Patients typically recover from pericarditis in two to four weeks.

What is Constrictive Pericarditis

Constrictive pericarditis occurs when the pericardium is thickened and becomes scarred. This can make it hard for the heart to expand with when blood enters it.

Symptoms of Constrictive Pericarditis.

The symptoms of constrictive pericarditis are the equivalent as pericarditis, however, there is the addition of the following:

  • Atrial fibrillation – This is a condition that affects the heartbeat. A glitch in the heart electrical system makes the upper chambers (atria) beat so fast that begin to quiver or fibrillate. This will cause the lower chamber to beat out of sync.
  • Fatigue
  • Shortness of breath
  • Heart Failure Symptoms ( weight gain and swelling of legs and feet)

Test used to Diagnose Constrictive Pericarditis

The same test is used to diagnose pericarditis as constrictive pericarditis; The other test used to identify constrictive pericarditis is:

  • MRI
  • CT Scan
  • Cardiac catheterization
  • Echocardiogram

How is Constrictive Pericarditis Treated

Treatment of constrictive pericarditis includes

  • Analgesic and anti-inflammatory agents to treat pain or inflammation
  • Pericardiectomy (surgical removal of the stiff pericardium from he heart
  • Diuretics to treat heart failure symptoms
  • Antiarrhythmics to treat any abysmal heart rhythm,s

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