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Diagnosing & Treating Pericarditis in Arizona

Pericarditis is inflammation of the pericardium, the sac or membrane that surrounds your heart. The pericardium can become swollen or irritated due to infection or another cause. Pericarditis can be painful and interfere with your heart’s ability to function normally.

At Dignity Health, we offer a full range of care for heart conditions, including pericarditis, in Arizona. Your care team includes cardiologists and nurses who specialize in cardiovascular conditions, as well as technicians, therapists, dietitians, and other specialists. Find a Doctor online or call (844) 852-0648 to make an appointment at our Chandler Regional Medical Center or St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center locations. Dignity Health is a nationally recognized leader in heart and vascular care.


Causes of Pericarditis

Often, the cause of pericarditis is not known. Sometimes, a fungal, bacterial, or viral infection causes the condition. Pericarditis may persist over time and take longer to treat (c)hronic or it might flare up and go away after a short course of treatment (a)cute.

Other possible causes for pericarditis include:

  • Chest trauma
  • Autoimmune diseases, including HIV and lupus
  • Heart attack
  • Certain medications

Pericarditis can happen to anyone, regardless of age. However, it is more likely to affect men between the ages of 20 and 50.


Pericarditis Symptoms

The symptoms of pericarditis are similar to heart attack. If you experience chest pain, call 9-1-1 immediately. Never try to self-diagnose chest pain.

Pain is the most common symptom of pericarditis. It might feel like a stabbing pain over the front of your chest. Sometimes the pain occurs in the shoulder or upper back. The pain often gets better when you lean forward or sit up. Pericarditis may also cause heart palpitations, fatigue, and coughing.


Treatment for Pericarditis at Dignity Health

Treatment for pericarditis focuses on addressing underlying causes, relieving symptoms, and reducing your risk of recurrence and complications. Your treatment plan will be based on the cause of your pericarditis and its severity. Serious or chronic cases of pericarditis may require prescription medications or even surgery. Mild cases may involve over-the-counter pain relievers and rest.

Untreated pericarditis can lead to life-threatening complications and chronic pericarditis. Reduce your risk by following your treatment plan carefully. 

Dignity Health provides cardiology services, including treatment for pericarditis, in Arizona.