Pericarditis | Diagnosis and Treatment

How is pericarditis diagnosed?

Pericarditis might be suspected if your child has chest pain or if the physician hears an abnormal heart sound called a “rub,” which occurs when the pericardium is irritated.

In addition to a complete medical history and physical examination, tests to diagnose pericarditis may include:

What are the treatment options for pericarditis?

Treatment depends on the cause of the inflammation and the amount of extra fluid in the chest. Many cases are mild and may improve with rest. Your child’s doctor may recommend over-the-counter medications to help with pain.

More severe cases may result in pericardial tamponade, a buildup of fluids that increases pressure on the heart. This may require emergency drainage of excess fluids. In rare cases, some children may need surgery.

If the pericarditis is caused by an infection, the doctor may prescribe antibiotics or other medications to treat the infection.