What is pericarditis, cardiac inflammation that would have affected Crosetto- WWN

What is pericarditis, cardiac inflammation that would have affected Crosetto- WWN

Of Health editorial team

Pericarditis is inflammation of the pericardium, the sac that protects the heart. In most cases the origin is infectious. Strong and sudden pain in the chest is the typical symptom

The Defense Minister Guido Crosetto was hospitalized urgently to the emergency room of San Carlo di Nancy, in Rome, on suspicion pericarditis. Acute pericarditisinflammation of the pericardiumi.e. the sac-shaped structure that contains and protects the cardiac muscle formed by two distinct thin and transparent layers (like cling film) with a serous liquid inside the liquid
pericardial). The pericardium has a protective and lubricating action and the serum between the two films is in stable quantity thanks to a physiological turnover, which can pathologically increase during inflammation, namely pericarditis.

The causes of pericarditis

The causes of pericarditis can be infectious (viral, bacterial, fungal and parasitic) e non-infectious. Definitely them Viral pericarditis constitute the most common inflammatory formsalbeit often no specific cause can be identified. In this case, pericarditis is defined as idiopathic (i.e. without a known cause). Non-infectious causes include tumors, advanced renal failure, autoimmune diseases, drugs (including antibiotics and antineoplastics), radiation treatments, trauma or injury.

Symptoms of pericarditis

In 85-90% of cases acute pericarditis is manifested by a strong chest painmore intense in the supine position and attenuated in the sitting position, with the torso leaning forward. L’abrupt, sudden onsetlike a stab that sometimes it is accentuated with breathing. The heart does not work well, it is unable to expand properly and in addition to pain, alterations in the heart rhythm, increased heartbeat and general malaise may appear. As mentioned, the pain is generally localized in the anterior chest, but it can also be radiate to the neck, left shoulder and back. Other associated symptoms are: tiredness, tachycardia, breathing difficulties, cough without phlegm, hiccups.

The diagnosis

The diagnosis of pericarditis is made from the observation of clinical signs (especially acute chest pain) ed laboratory and instrumental tests such as electrocardiogram, chest x-ray, blood tests to check the indices of inflammation and transthoracic echocardiogram (which allows the presence of pericardial effusion to be identified).

Possible complications

There pericarditis a pathology generally benignwhich is resolved in 70-80% of cases without complications of any kind or relapses. However, there are also problems that can be associated with a worse prognosis: one of these eventualities is the so-called cardiac tamponade (when inflammatory fluid accumulates in the pericardial cavity over a short period of time, producing strong increases in intrapericardial pressure). Other risk factors that expose one to an increased probability of the onset of medium-long term complications are fever above 38 C, severe pericardial effusions, lack of or incomplete response to high-dose pharmacological treatment.


If the symptoms suggest a specific cause, this should be treated. In all other cases the treatment involves the administration of anti-inflammatory drugs such as acetylsalicylic acid, ibuprofen, indomethacin and colchicine, added to conventional anti-inflammatories to prevent the chronicity of symptoms and relapses. L’adherence to fundamental therapy because one of the most frequent causes of relapse is early interruption of treatment. Until the symptoms resolve or the inflammatory indices in the blood are reduced, it is necessary to refrain from physical activity.

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February 13, 2024 (modified February 13, 2024 | 10:03)

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