Inflammation of pericardium, sac-like tissue layers that surround the heart is referred to as pericarditis. Pericarditis can be caused due to various medical conditions including viral infection, a pyogenic (pus-producing) infection, tuberculosis, urema, heart attack (myocardial infarction), cardiac injury and rheumatic or collagen vascular disease.
Pericarditis is a curable disease, if diagnosed in its early stages. The appropriate treatment course of pericarditis depends solely on its cause and patient’s condition. Your doctor will prescribe you bed rest, aspirin or an anti-inflammatory pain to relieve your condition. If the pain doesn’t subside, you will be given a glucocorticoid medication, such as prednisone. Patients, who have tuberculosis pericarditis will be administered on anti-tuberculosis medication. Those with uremic pericarditis caused by kidney failure will be given hemodialysis, which is a mechanical process to clean the blood.
Excess of effusion around the heart will be removed by performing a procedure called pericardiocentesis. When constrictive pericarditis disturbs the normal functioning of the heart, the thickened pericardium may be removed through a surgical procedure known as pericardiectomy.
Patients with pericarditis caused by viral infections recover within the first month of treatment, although, around 25 percent of patients may experience the condition once again. If the condition keeps returning over a period of two years or more, a pericardiectomy might be suggested. Patients with pericarditis caused by heart attack or cardiac trauma might take a week or two to recover. Pericarditis patients with other conditions such as urema, recover only after the main cause gets treated completely.
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