Pericarditis: Symptoms & Signs

Medically Reviewed on 8/4/2020

Pericarditis is inflammation of the tissue that covers the outside of the heart, the pericardium. This inflammation can lead to fluid buildup in the pericardium, referred to as pericardial effusion.

Signs and symptoms of pericarditis include

The symptoms may resemble those of a myocardial infarction (heart attack). Other associated symptoms can include

An examiner may hear a characteristic sound known as a pericardial rub when placing a stethoscope over the heart.

Causes of pericarditis

There are multiple causes of pericarditis, including

Viral infections, following a respiratory infection, are one of the most common causes of pericarditis.

Other pericarditis symptoms and signs


Heart Disease: Causes of a Heart Attack See Slideshow

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Jameson, J. Larry, et al. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 20th Ed. New York: McGraw-Hill Education, 2018.