Pericarditis history and symptoms

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Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1]; Associate Editor(s)-in-Chief: Cafer Zorkun, M.D., Ph.D. [2] Homa Najafi, M.D.[3]


Patients with pericarditis commonly present with chest pain that changes with position, cough, fever, breathlessness, and fatigue are the other common symptoms. Less common symptoms include palpitations, hiccup, odynophagia, faint, dizziness, and abdominal pain which is seen mostly in children.

Common Symptoms

Common symptoms of pericarditis include:[1][2][3][4][5]

Less Common Symptoms

Less symptoms of pericarditis include:[1][6][7]

Rapidity of Symptom Onset

The rapidity of symptom onset may provide insight into the underlying etiology of pericarditis. For example, pericarditis associated with both uremia and tuberculosis develops more slowly and can be undetectable until it presents as a fever of unknown origin. On the other hand, both bacterial and viral pericarditis develop rapidly and can present as rapidly increasing pain over several hours.[8][9][10]


  1. 1.0 1.1 Klein, Allan L.; Abbara, Suhny; Agler, Deborah A.; Appleton, Christopher P.; Asher, Craig R.; Hoit, Brian; Hung, Judy; Garcia, Mario J.; Kronzon, Itzhak; Oh, Jae K.; Rodriguez, E. Rene; Schaff, Hartzell V.; Schoenhagen, Paul; Tan, Carmela D.; White, Richard D. (2013). "American Society of Echocardiography Clinical Recommendations for Multimodality Cardiovascular Imaging of Patients with Pericardial Disease". Journal of the American Society of Echocardiography. 26 (9): 965–1012.e15. doi:10.1016/j.echo.2013.06.023. ISSN 0894-7317.
  2. Imazio, Massimo (2012). "Contemporary management of pericardial diseases". Current Opinion in Cardiology. 27 (3): 308–317. doi:10.1097/HCO.0b013e3283524fbe. ISSN 0268-4705.
  3. Imazio, Massimo; Gaita, Fiorenzo (2015). "Diagnosis and treatment of pericarditis". Heart. 101 (14): 1159–1168. doi:10.1136/heartjnl-2014-306362. ISSN 1355-6037.
  4. Imazio, M. (2011). "Pericardial involvement in systemic inflammatory diseases". Heart. 97 (22): 1882–1892. doi:10.1136/heartjnl-2011-300054. ISSN 1355-6037.
  5. Imazio, Massimo; Brucato, Antonio; Maestroni, Silvia; Cumetti, Davide; Belli, Riccardo; Trinchero, Rita; Adler, Yehuda (2011). "Risk of Constrictive Pericarditis After Acute Pericarditis". Circulation. 124 (11): 1270–1275. doi:10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.111.018580. ISSN 0009-7322.
  6. Niraj S. Doctor, Ankit B. Shah, Neil Coplan & Itzhak Kronzon (2017). "Acute Pericarditis". Progress in cardiovascular diseases. 59 (4): 349–359. doi:10.1016/j.pcad.2016.12.001. PMID 27956197. Unknown parameter |month= ignored (help)
  7. J. Soler-Soler, G. Permanyer-Miralda & J. Sagrista-Sauleda (1990). "A systematic diagnostic approach to primary acute pericardial disease. The Barcelona experience". Cardiology clinics. 8 (4): 609–620. PMID 2249215. Unknown parameter |month= ignored (help)
  8. Comty, Christina M. (1971). "Pericarditis in Chronic Uremia and Its Sequels". Annals of Internal Medicine. 75 (2): 173. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-75-2-173. ISSN 0003-4819.
  9. Imazio, Massimo; Trinchero, Rita (2007). "Triage and management of acute pericarditis". International Journal of Cardiology. 118 (3): 286–294. doi:10.1016/j.ijcard.2006.07.100. ISSN 0167-5273.
  10. Mayosi, Bongani M.; Burgess, Lesley J.; Doubell, Anton F. (2005). "Tuberculous Pericarditis". Circulation. 112 (23): 3608–3616. doi:10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.105.543066. ISSN 0009-7322.

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