Cardiovascular System

The Heart

What is pericarditis?

Pericarditis is an inflammation of the pericardium, a membrane that surrounds the heart. It is frequently due to viral or bacterial infections, which produce adhesions that attach the layers of the pericardium to each other. This is a very painful condition and interferes with heart movements. Mild cases of pericarditis may resolve themselves with little treatment other than bed rest and anti-inflammatory medications. More severe cases of percarditis may require hospitalization and/or surgical removal and drainage of the fluid. If a bacterial infection is the underlying cause of pericarditis, antibiotics will be prescribed to treat the infection.


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