Did you know that your heart can also get infected or inflamed? Yes, there are various sites in the heart structure that can become susceptible to infections under certain circumstances. One of them is the pericardium, a two layered membrane or sac that covers the outer aspect of the heart. And, inflammation or infection of the pericardium is called pericarditis. Under normal circumstances the pericardium contains around 50 ml of fluid. Once pericarditis sets in, variable amounts of excess fluid get secreted into the pericardial space, which may range from mild to severe.
There are two types of pericarditis: acute and chronic. The acute pericarditis recedes within 5-6 weeks by proper medication. But if the medication is discontinued or not taken properly, the condition worsens and leads to chronic pericarditis. Pericarditis can also progress within few weeks after a heart attack or heart surgery. The symptoms of pericarditis are: sharp chest pain, shortness of breath, palpitation, fever and cough. Dr Santosh Kumar Dora, Cardiac Electro Physiologist, Asian Heart Institute offers a detailed insight into the condition.
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