Pericarditis

  • Medical Author:
    Benjamin Wedro, MD, FACEP, FAAEM

    Dr. Ben Wedro practices emergency medicine at Gundersen Clinic, a regional trauma center in La Crosse, Wisconsin. His background includes undergraduate and medical studies at the University of Alberta, a Family Practice internship at Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario and residency training in Emergency Medicine at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center.

  • Medical Editor: Daniel Lee Kulick, MD, FACC, FSCAI
    Daniel Lee Kulick, MD, FACC, FSCAI

    Daniel Lee Kulick, MD, FACC, FSCAI

    Dr. Kulick received his undergraduate and medical degrees from the University of Southern California, School of Medicine. He performed his residency in internal medicine at the Harbor-University of California Los Angeles Medical Center and a fellowship in the section of cardiology at the Los Angeles County-University of Southern California Medical Center. He is board certified in Internal Medicine and Cardiology.

  • Medical Editor: William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

What causes pericarditis?

Pericarditis is usually from unknown causes (idiopathic). The cause may often be viral infections. Causes of pericarditis include:

Infections:

Inflammatory diseases:

Diseases that can cause generalized inflammation in other places within the body can also cause inflammation of the pericardium. Some examples include:

Metabolic illnesses:

Heart disease:

  • Heart attack can cause direct irritation and inflammation of the pericardial lining.
  • Dressler's syndrome describes inflammation caused by an immune response to heart tissue damage from heart attack, open heart surgery, or a trauma.

Other causes:

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 11/9/2015

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