Pericarditis is an inflammatory process in the pericardial sac called the pericardium. Pericarditis is rarely considered an independent disease. As a rule, it develops as a complication after all kinds of diseases of an infectious and non-infectious nature.
Causes of Pericarditis
– infectious viral diseases, such as influenza, fungal diseases and microorganism infections;
– severe heart attack;
– immunological combinations of antibody-antigen that form during allergic reactions and accumulate in the tissues;
– intoxication of the body with poisons that can penetrate into the body from the external environment and from the inside of the body;
– complications after injuries.
With the development of the inflammatory process of the pericardium in the cavity, inflammatory or purulent exudate, blood clots or blood protein, fibrin can be delayed.
Pericarditis can be dry or exudative.
Dry pericarditis occurs with pressing pain in the chest area. As a rule, the pain is moderate, sometimes turning into more severe. They can be confused with pain in an angina attack. The patient during an attack of pericarditis is not able to take a deep breath, breathing is shallow and rapid. The pain becomes stronger when you press the chest in the area of the heart muscle.
At the same time, heart palpitations and shortness of breath, paroxysmal cough, malaise and chills may occur .
Exudative pericarditis, in fact, represents the second stage of dry. Moreover, all symptoms are more pronounced, difficulty breathing does not go away. When you click on the trachea, a dry and sonorous cough occurs. When you press the esophagus, difficulty swallowing appears, when you compress the nerve of the larynx, the voice changes or disappears altogether. The abdomen ceases to take part in the breathing process, since the diaphragm practically does not move.
Blanching, and then turning blue, is becoming more pronounced. Due to the stagnant process of venous blood, the upper limbs, head and neck begin to swell. The patient may feel general weakness. In this case, the pulse is felt very weakly. Patients have a fear of death. Often an attack of pericarditis leads to deep fainting.
Exudative pericarditis of a chronic nature, as a rule, develops over time. First there is mild shortness of breath and fatigue, then pain in the heart zone appears. All symptoms worsen over time.
Diagnosis of pericarditis
Diagnosis is based on a medical history, palpation and listening of the heart. To confirm the diagnosis, they resort to research using ultrasound, an x-ray apparatus and an electrocardiograph. In some cases of the disease, a pericardial sac is punctured. In the process of taking a puncture, a thin cannula is inserted into the pericardial cavity, with which a certain amount of accumulated fluid is taken for analysis. Exudate is examined in the laboratory. The specificity of the fluid taken during puncture allows us to judge the exact diagnosis.
Treatment of pericarditis is determined by the causes of its development. For example, in processes of an infectious nature antibiotics are prescribed, in case of allergic reactions – medications that inhibit the secretion of antibodies and so on.
In addition, they use anti-inflammatory and absorbable medicines. In severe cases of pericarditis, glucocorticoid hormones are prescribed. In addition, medications that relieve heart pain, normalize the functioning of the heart muscle and blood circulation are recommended.