PERICARDITIS

      

 

 

 

 

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Symptoms: Chest pain which is retrosternal and left precordial; pain may be absent in slow tuberculous, neoplastic or uremic pericarditis; Constrictive pericarditis: tiredness, exertional dyspnea, effort syncope.

Special signs: Pericardial friction rub; Ewart's sign of pericardial effusion. Ascites; rapid small pulse; pulsus paradoxus, impalpable apex beat, 3rd heart sound, 'y' trough in JVP, Kussmaul's sign, i.e. JVP rise in inspiration; hepatomegaly, Broadbent's sign-  intercostal recession at systole.

Special investigations: Widespread elevation of ST segments with upward concavity involving some limb leads and V2-V6. Water bottle appearance on chest X ray in pericardial effusion; echocardiographic identification of pericardial effusion.

SHORT DESCRIPTION:
Pericarditis may be acute, chronic or subacute. It also may be caused by infectious agents such as viruses, bacterial  and fungal infections. Other agents are non-infectious agents like cholesterol, rheumatic fever, myxedema etc may cause it.

 

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