is an ailment that is manifested by the inflammation of thepericardium. The pericardium is the thin fibrous sac that covers theheart (Craig, 2016). This paper seeks to examine key issues thatrelate to pericarditis.

ACause of Pericardium


Themost common etiology of pericarditis emanates from viruses. A directviral attack results to inflammatory abnormities on the pericarditis.In most cases, various types of virus are liable for causingpericarditis. This includes the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV),adenovirus, enterovirus, herpes simplex, hepatitis C, echovirus justto name but a few (Jean-Louis, et al. 2011).

Theviral pericarditis exhibits a number of symptoms. Foremost, earlyviral replication occurs in epimyocardical and pericardial tissuewhich further stimulates humoral and cellular immune responsesagainst the cardiac tissue. In many incidences, viral pericarditis istested by the use of a stool sample and swab taken from the throat.In some instances, viruses found in pericardial patients can bederived from the individual when in robust health (Jean-Louis, et al.2011).

Chestpain is also common, and it is often confused with other illnessessuch as pneumonia and pleuritis. The pain is usually retrosternal andmay intensify as the patient swallows, breaths and lies flat. Inorder to relieve the chest pain, it is prudent to lean forward andsit up.

Subsequently,the patient will also experience upper respiratory symptoms andfever. In the event that the effusion of the pericardial occurs, thepatient will have signs of heart failure.Additionally, one mayalso get frequent aches in the upper limbs and neck.

Anothersymptom that is displayed for many years is the deposit IgG, IgM andsporadically Ig A in the myocardium and pericardium (Jean-Louis, etal. 2011).

Thesymptoms present cause pericarditis in a number of ways. The viralreplication that occurs in epimyocardical and periocadical tissueincreases the proportion of inflammation therefore leading topericarditis.

Treatmentof Viral

Thetreatment approach of viral pericarditis is focused on resolving thesymptoms, inhibit complication and exterminate the virus. The initialtreatment approach involves the administering anti-inflammatorymedications. A research conducted on 254 patients disclosed that theuse of ASA reduced their symptoms in 85% of the study group. ASA istherefore, a viable drug for the condition (Tonini et al. 2015).

Additionally,Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are to be administeredin the preliminary timeline of 7 to 14 days. The duration of usage isdetermined by the stabilization of inflammatory level markers, suchas ESR and CRP and the level of clinical progress. It is imperativethat the coronary flow is not interrupted, consequently, 800 mg ofIbuprofen is commonly administered in 6-8 hours. Most practitionersin North America prefer to use Ibuprofen. On the other hand, inEurope, Aspirin is the most commonly used NSAID (Tonini et al. 2015).

Inpatients that manifest chronic recurrent viral infection, thedetailed treatment approach includes:

  • A quick renewal of NSAID treatment. The dosage should be similar to the original incident. Two to three dosages should be given in the event that colchicine was not given initially. The medication should be given for the relapse in order to lower the risk of another reoccurrence even after the second and third treatment. The patients usually experience relief with the reinstatement of NSAID treatment. The ailing individual should therefore be encouraged to use the same treatment in the event that symptoms of Viral appear in the future (Tonini et al. 2015).

  • CMV pericarditis hyperimmune globulin – This is administered once per day 4ml/kg, on for a period of four days. On day 12-16 the patient is given 8: 2 4ml/kg (Jean-Louis, et al. 2011).

  • Coxsackievirus B pericarditis – Three times a week the patient should be given interferon beta or alfa 2.5 x 106 IU/m2 concurrently (Jean-Louis, et al. 2011).

  • Immunoglobulin treatment with 20g or more is administered intravenously on the first day and the third day in 6-8 hours. The treatment may be repeated and joined with gancyclovir to make it more effective for the elimination of the virus (Jean-Louis, et al. 2011).

Howa Patient Can Tell the Different Between and a TrueHeart Attack

varies from a true heart attack in several ways. In pericarditis,fever is a key symptom. In addition, the patient may experience acurrent or recent ‘’ flu=like’’ infection. Additionally, thepatient experiences muscle and joint pains and respiratory signs suchas a sore throat and a cough. A true heart attack on the other hand,is mostly manifested by sharp pains in the heart. The patient doesnot have the ability to worsen the symptoms by lying on the spine,swallowing or by breathing as it occurs in pericarditis.

ACure for

Itcan be stated that pericarditis is curable. Tonini et al. (2015),disclose that in 70-90% of the patients diagnosed with the condition,most of them respond effectively to treatment, with a completeresolution. A small proportion of those diagnosed with the condition,less that 5%, do not respond successfully to the treatmentessentially in the initial stages. Additionally, it is important tonote that 30% of the patients can experience a relapse especiallywomen, a factor which should be investigated further. The maincomplication that emerges is the effusion of the pericardial whichcan further lead to cardiac tamponade.


Craig,J. (2016). FerrisNetter Patient Advisor.Elsevier Health Sciences.

Jean-Louis,V, Abraham, E, Kochanek, P, Fink, M. (2011). Textbookof Critical Care.Elsevier Health Sciences.

Tonini,M, Pessoa de Melo, D and Fernandes, F. (2015). Acute pericarditis.RevAssoc MedBras. 61(2):184-190.