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Acute Pericarditis

Acute Pericarditis is a topic covered in the Washington Manual of Medical Therapeutics.

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General Principles


  • The yield of standard diagnostic testing is relatively low.
  • Common: neoplastic, autoimmune, viral, tuberculosis, bacterial (nontuberculous), uremia, post–cardiac surgery, idiopathic.
  • Less common: trauma, post–myocardial infarction, drugs, dissecting aortic aneurysm.


The pericardium is a fibrous sac surrounding the heart consisting of two layers: a thin visceral layer attached to the pericardium 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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Williams, Dominique, et al., editors. "Acute Pericarditis." Washington Manual of Medical Therapeutics, 35th ed., Wolters Kluwer Health, 2016. Washington Manual, www.unboundmedicine.com/washingtonmanual/view/Washington-Manual-of-Medical-Therapeutics/602718/all/Acute_Pericarditis.
Acute Pericarditis. In: Williams D, Ramgopal R, Gdowski M, et al, eds. Washington Manual of Medical Therapeutics. 35th ed. Wolters Kluwer Health; 2016. https://www.unboundmedicine.com/washingtonmanual/view/Washington-Manual-of-Medical-Therapeutics/602718/all/Acute_Pericarditis. Accessed May 20, 2019.
Acute Pericarditis. (2016). In Williams, D., Ramgopal, R., Gdowski, M., Dretler, A., & Bhat, P. (Eds.), Washington Manual of Medical Therapeutics. Available from https://www.unboundmedicine.com/washingtonmanual/view/Washington-Manual-of-Medical-Therapeutics/602718/all/Acute_Pericarditis
Acute Pericarditis [Internet]. In: Williams D, Ramgopal R, Gdowski M, Dretler A, Bhat P, editors. Washington Manual of Medical Therapeutics. Wolters Kluwer Health; 2016. [cited 2019 May 20]. Available from: https://www.unboundmedicine.com/washingtonmanual/view/Washington-Manual-of-Medical-Therapeutics/602718/all/Acute_Pericarditis.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - ELEC T1 - Acute Pericarditis ID - 602718 ED - Williams,Dominique, ED - Ramgopal,Rajeev, ED - Gdowski,Mark, ED - Dretler,Alexandra, ED - Bhat,Pavat, BT - Washington Manual of Medical Therapeutics UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/washingtonmanual/view/Washington-Manual-of-Medical-Therapeutics/602718/all/Acute_Pericarditis PB - Wolters Kluwer Health ET - 35 DB - Washington Manual DP - Unbound Medicine ER -