General Principles

  • A diagnosis of acute pericarditis (inflammation of the pericardium) can be made with at least two of the following four criteria: pleuritic chest pain, pericardial rub, new widespread ST-segment elevation or PR depression, and new or worsening pericardial effusion.
  • Viruses are the most common infectious etiology. Staphylococci, S. pneumonia, M. tuberculosis, and histoplasmosis are occasional causes.

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