Pericarditis – an inflammation of the pericardium, the outer lining of the heart separating it from other organs of the chest. The pericardium consists of two layers, the inner and outer. Between them, there is normally a small amount of fluid that facilitates their displacement relative to each other during heart contractions.
Inflammation of the pericardium can have different causes. Most often it is a second condition, complication of other diseases. There are several forms of pericarditis, characterized by the symptoms and treatment. Signs and symptoms of this disease are varied. Often it is not immediately diagnosed. Suspicion of inflammation of the pericardium – the basis for patient referral to a cardiologist.
Causes Pericarditis can cause infectious and non-infectious factors.
Causes of infectious pericarditis:
- Bacterial infections: coccoid (pneumonia, sepsis) and specific (typhoid, dysentery, cholera, brucellosis, anthrax, plague, tularemia);
- Viruses (influenza, Coxsackie).
Reasons for non-infectious pericarditis:
- Allergic reaction;
- Autoimmune responses (after heart attack, heart surgery);
- Blood diseases and hemorrhagic diathesis;
- Diffuse connective tissue disease;
- Heart injury;
- Hypovitaminosis C;
- Malignant tumor;
- Metabolic disorders (uremia, gout);
- Long-term use of glucocorticoids;
- Radiation exposure.
In some cases there is a combination of infectious, infectious-allergic, autoimmune, toxic mechanisms.
The symptoms of pericarditis
Pathology rarely occurs as an independent disease, most often occurs on the background of other nosologic units, as a complication. Accordingly, characteristically the absence of a particular of the clinic, at the most severe forms formed the clinical picture of heart failure. Most often, patients complain:
- Dry cough;
- Heart attacks;
- Irregular or fast heartbeat;
- Pain in the chest;
- Shortness of breath;
- Pericardial friction.
Typically, the symptoms can be expressed to varying degrees depending on the form of the disease: acute, which lasts less six weeks, and chronic – longer than two months.
As a minimum, studies should be carried out the following:
- Common blood and urine tests;
- Blood chemistry;
- Blood test LE-cells;
- X-ray examination of the heart and other organs of the chest;
- Phonocardiography allows you to record heart sounds;
- Echocardiography has the greatest opportunity to identify the fluid in the pericardial cavity, thickening and change sheets;
- Puncture of the pericardium with the investigation of the resulting liquid, bacterial seeding.
To treat is necessary the underlying disease, that lead to pericarditis. The patient is invited to the observance of strict bed rest and diet with restriction of salt.
Treatment of rheumatic pericarditis necessarily involves the use of large doses of salicylates, hormonal therapy. When tuberculous pericarditis appointed combined special means to the maximum dose.
The rapid increase in the level of exudate requires puncture of the pericardium, the study on the punctate sensitivity to antibiotics with followed by the selection of the desired effect of treatment.
Surgical treatment is carried out for the constrictive pericarditis in case of failure of medication treatment. After improving the condition of the patient is carried the surgery to release the left ventricle of the heart from compression.