Acute Pericarditis


Idiopathic, neoplastic (chemotherapy and radiation), autoimmune, viral, tuberculosis, bacterial (nontuberculous), uremia, post–cardiac surgery, trauma, post–myocardial infarction, drugs, dissecting aortic aneurysm, hypothyroidism.


  • The pericardium is a fibrous sac surrounding the heart consisting of two layers: a thin visceral layer attached to the myocardium and a thicker parietal layer.
  • The pericardial space is normally filled with 15–50 mL of fluid, and the two layers slide smoothly against each other, allowing for normal expansion and contraction of the heart.
  • Pericarditis occurs when these layers are inflamed.

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