- Pericarditis - not a disease but a complication
- Types and symptoms
What is the pericardium
Pericardium or the pericardium - a tissue envelope surrounding the heart, the aorta and the pulmonary trunk. There are fibrous pericardium - it covers all of the heart and blood vessels, and serous, which consists of two plates, one of which lines the inside of the fibrous pericardium, and the other - the outer surface of the heart. Between these two plates has a slot-like space - the pericardial cavity.
Pericardium performs important functions: it secures the heart in the chest and keeps it in its normal position, acts as a barrier to the penetration of the chest infection in the heart, prevent excessive expansion of the heart, helps to maintain the desired pressure within the heart.
Inflammation of the pericardium
Pericarditis - an inflammation of the serous pericardium. Pericarditis is rare as an independent disease, it often occurs as a complication of various infectious and noninfectious diseases.
The causes of pericarditis may include:
- infection (virus - e.g., influenza virus, bacteria, fungi, protozoa);
- deep myocardial infarction
Myocardial infarction - the most formidable diagnosis
- immune antigen-antibody complexes which are formed during allergic processes and are deposited in the tissues;
- effects on the body of certain poisons, which may act both outside and inside (for example, impaired renal function);
- the effects of trauma, and so on
When inflammation of the pericardium in the pericardial cavity may accumulate inflammatory (serous) or purulent fluid, blood, drop fibrin (a blood protein that provides its rolling property).
Pericarditis can be dry and exudative (with the presence of fluid in the pericardial sac).
Symptoms of dry pericarditis
Dry pericarditis begins with a dull monotonous pain in the chest. Most often these pains are mild, but sometimes very strong, so that they can be confused with angina
Angina: When the heart needs help
. A characteristic feature of pain is their relationship with the respiratory movements and the change in body position. The patient can not take a deep breath, breathing is superficial and often. The pain intensified and with pressure on the chest in the heart area.
At the same time it may be complaints of palpitations, shortness of breath, dry cough
Dry cough - whether to worry about it?
There are three variants of the end of the process:
- prolonged relapsing course (characteristic of autoimmune processes - allergy own tissues);
- transition to a pericardial effusion.
Signs of exudative pericarditis
Pericardial effusion - is the next stage after dry pericarditis. At the same time all the signs of pericarditis are amplified, shortness of breath becomes a constant expression. Squeezing of the trachea is a permanent enlargement of the heart, "barking" cough ringing. Compression of the esophagus leads to difficulty swallowing, laryngeal nerve compression - to change the voice or the complete absence. Due to the limited mobility of the diaphragm is no longer involved in abdominal breathing.
Growing pale with severe cyanosis of the lips, nose, ears. Due to the stagnation of blood in the veins become swollen tissue of head and neck, and sometimes swelling extend to the shoulders and arms. The patient may appear bouts of weakness, accompanied by a small, barely perceptible pulse and the fear of death, sometimes such an attack results in a loss of consciousness.
Chronic pericardial effusion often begins slowly and quietly, with a slight shortness of breath, fatigue, dull pain in the heart. All these signs are gradually increasing.
The outcome of acute pericarditis may be the formation of pericardial adhesions (adhesion), and the fusion of the pericardium with the other organs of the mediastinum, and the organs located near the heart, are united with him in the conglomerate.
Another outcome of pericarditis can be overgrowth of connective tissue and its calcification, which can also spread to adjacent organs (pleura, lung, diaphragm), as well as the muscle of the heart.
Diagnosis of pericarditis
Diagnosis is based on typical complaints of the patient, auscultation and percussion of the heart. Confirms the diagnosis of pericarditis ultrasound (sonography), radiographic and electrocardiographic (ECG) studies. Sometimes, to establish a definitive diagnosis is required pericardiocentesis. During the puncture into the pericardial cavity by inserting a needle and take part of the exudate for laboratory examination. The nature of exudate (signs of inflammation, pus, infection, and so on) allows accurate diagnosis.
Treatment of pericarditis
Treating pericarditis depends on the cause of his caller. Thus, in infectious processes prescribe antibiotics for allergic - drugs that suppress the antibody production and so on.
They are used as anti-inflammatory agents and protivoekssudativnoe. In severe cases, this purpose is prescribed glucocorticoid hormones. In addition, means are assigned eliminating heart pain
Pain in the heart - always consult a doctor
Restoring the activity of the heart and normalizes blood circulation.
Pericarditis - this is serious, it should be remembered and carefully treat any colds, which can give a complication of heart.