Pericarditis refers to inflammation of the pericardium, which is the membrane that surrounds your heart. The pericardium can become swollen and irritated due to an infection or other cause. This condition can be painful and interfere with your heart’s function.
Have a healthy heart with the help of Dignity Health Southern California. Our experts can address any pain caused by pericarditis in Southern California at our state-of-the-art hospitals. Find a Doctor online today to determine your treatment plan in Long Beach, Northridge, Downtown LA, Glendale, and San Bernardino.
The signs and symptoms of pericarditis can be similar to a heart attack. If you experience chest pain, you should immediately call 911.
The signs and symptoms of pericarditis include:
- Pain in the upper back or shoulder
- A stabbing pain across the chest
- Relief from pain when sitting up or leaning forward
- Heart palpitations
Causes of Pericarditis
Your doctor will order a series of heart and blood tests to diagnose pericarditis and help determine the cause. In many cases, the cause of pericarditis is not known. Pericarditis may flare up and go away after a short course of treatment (acute), or it may persist over time and take longer to treat (chronic).
Causes of pericarditis include:
- Heart attack
- Viral, bacterial, or fungal infections
- Autoimmune diseases, such as lupus or HIV
- Chest trauma
- Certain medications
Pericarditis: Treatment at Dignity Health
Treatment strategies for pericarditis focus on addressing underlying causes, relieving symptoms, and reducing the risk of complications or recurrence. Your treatment plan with our expert care team will be based on the severity of your pericarditis and its cause. Mild cases of pericarditis may be successfully treated with rest and over-the-counter pain relievers. More serious cases, or chronic cases, may require prescription medications or surgery.
If left untreated, pericarditis can become chronic and lead life-threatening complications. You can reduce your risk of complications by following your treatment plan carefully. Look to your Dignity Health Southern California doctor for personal care and trusted advice.
Dignity Health provides services for cardiovascular conditions, including treatment for pericarditis, in Southern California.