Hello and welcome to HealingWell,
Pericarditis is usually sudden and short-lived (acute). When symptoms develop more gradually or persist, the condition is considered chronic. The sharp chest pain associated with pericarditis occurs when the inflamed or irritated two layers of the pericardium rub against each other.
Mild cases may improve on their own. Treatment for more-severe cases may include medications and, rarely, surgery. Early diagnosis and treatment may help to reduce the risk of long-term complications.
Acute pericarditis usually lasts less than a few weeks. Chronic pericarditis lasts six months or longer.
If you have acute pericarditis, the most common symptom is sharp, stabbing chest pain behind the breastbone or in the left side of your chest. However, some people with acute pericarditis describe their chest pain as dull, achy or pressure-like instead, and of varying intensity.
The pain of acute pericarditis may travel into your left shoulder and neck. It often intensifies when you lie down or inhale deeply. Coughing, taking a deep breath or swallowing food also may make the pain worse. Sitting up and leaning forward can often ease the pain.
I am wondering if you ever had a CAT scan or an MRI when you were evaluated for the cause of your chest pain ?
Medications to reduce the inflammation and swelling associated with pericarditis are often prescribed, including:Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).
Most pain associated with pericarditis responds well to treatment with aspirin or another NSAID. Colchicine.
This drug, which reduces inflammation in the body, may be prescribed as a first line treatment for pericarditis or as a treatment for recurrent symptoms. Colchicine can reduce the length of pericarditis symptoms and decreases the risk that the condition will recur. However, the drug is not safe for people with certain pre-existing health problems, such as liver or kidney disease. Corticosteroids.
If you don't respond to NSAIDs or colchicine or if you have recurrent symptoms of pericarditis, your doctor may prescribe a steroid medication such as prednisone.
Acute episodes of pericarditis typically last from one to three weeks, but future episodes can occur. about
one in five people with pericarditis has a recurrence within months of the original episode.
If you are not feeling comfortable with your current physician I would encourage you to seek a second opinion. Be you own best advocate when it comes to your health.
Please keep us posted and know we are here to support you.
~~Kitt~~Moderator: Anxiety/Panic, Osteoarthritis, GERD/Heartburn and Heart/Cardiovascular Disease. www.healingwell.com"If you can't change the world, change your world"
Post Edited (stkitt) : 1/26/2011 3:26:01 PM (GMT-7)