Pericarditis is a disorder caused by inflammation of the pericardium, the sac-like covering of the heart. Pericarditis can be caused by bacterial, fungal, or viral infections. It may also result from vascular inflammation (vasculitis), kidney or thyroid diseases, tumors, and injury or trauma to the chest, esophagus, or heart. In many cases, the cause is unknown. Pain occurs as a result of the layers of the inflamed pericardium rubbing against each other.
Harvey Simon, MD, Editor-in-Chief, Associate Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School; Senior Physician, Massachusetts General Hospital.
The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997-
A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.