Acute Pericarditis

Causes

viral infections (Coxsackie)
tuberculosis
uraemia (causes 'fibrinous' pericarditis)
trauma
post-myocardial infarction, Dressler's syndrome
connective tissue disease
hypothyroidism

Presentation

chest pain: may be pleuritic. Is often relieved by sitting forwards
other symptoms include non-productive cough, dyspnoea and flu-like symptoms

Vital signs

tachypnoea
tachycardia

Examination

pericardial rub

Bedside tests

ECG changes
widespread 'saddle-shaped' ST elevation
PR depression: most specific ECG marker for pericarditis

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