What Is Pericarditis?

By james
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The pericardium is a flexible two-layer membrane that surrounds the heart. There is a thin layer of fluid that separates the layers of the pericardium, allowing free movement. The heart is a vulnerable organ in the body and plays a vital role in sustaining life. The pericardium acts as a supportive and protective layer, keeping the heart in place and preventing potential infection.

Pericarditis results from inflammation of the pericardium, causing rubbing of the two layers as the heart relaxes and contracts. People experiencing pericarditis may describe the symptoms as similar to a heart attack, with an irregular heartbeat and chest pain.

1. What Are the Causes of Pericarditis?

Pericarditis can have many origins, and as the condition presents uniquely in different patients, it is difficult to profess one root cause. However, most cases stem from an infection or a virus. When a cause is unknown, doctors may present a diagnosis of idiopathic pericarditis.

Heart surgery may also result in the condition. Researchers believe the agitation to the heart muscles during surgery leads to the inflammation of the pericardium. When surgery or other cardiac event is the underlying cause, Dressler’s syndrome, an autoimmune condition, may be the cause. Researchers suggest dead heart tissue in the blood system could trigger the immune reaction against the pericardium.


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