Pericarditis is an inflammation of the pericardium, a thin and strong double membrane that forms a kind of pocket around the heart. There are two types of pericarditis: acute or chronic.

The most common is acute inflammatory pericarditis. We can imagine the pericardium composed of two sheets glued against each other. When there is an inflammation, they take off a little and rub against each other. This friction can cause pain in the chest.

Acute pericarditis progresses to chronic pericarditis when it develops over a prolonged period. In patients with multiple pericarditis, because of frequent inflammation, the pericardium becomes a little thicker than normal. This causes a feeling of shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, chest pain during effort.

This type of pericarditis can progress to a constrictive pericarditis: the pericardium becomes almost rigid and it hinders the proper functioning of the heart, increasing the risk of heart attack. Fortunately, chronic pericarditis is rare. Patients who suffer from it should receive regular and regular monitoring.

The evolution of pericarditis depends largely on its causes, and if not treated properly, it can lead to serious complications ...

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Read also :

> 10 scientific facts to know about the heart
> Cardiomyopathy: when the heart muscle is tired
> When to go see a cardiologist?

Author: Elide Achille.
Expert consultant: Pr Yves Juillière, cardiologist at the University Hospital of Nancy and President of the French Society of Cardiology (SFC).

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