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Pericarditis is a condition in which the sac-like covering around the heart (pericardium) becomes inflamed.
See also: Bacterial pericarditis
Pericarditis is usually a complication of viral infections, most commonly echovirus or coxsackie virus. Less frequently, it is caused by influenza or HIV infection.
Infections with bacteria can lead to bacterial pericarditis (also called purulent pericarditis). Some fungal infections can also produce pericarditis.
In addition, pericarditis can be associated with diseases such as:
Other causes include:
Often the cause of pericarditis remains unknown. In this case, the condition is called idiopathic pericarditis.
Pericarditis most often affects men aged 20 - 50. It usually follows respiratory infections. In children, it is most commonly caused by adenovirus or coxsackie virus.
LeWinter MM. Pericardial diseases. In: Libby P, Bonow RO, Mann DL, Zipes DP. Braunwald's Heart Disease: A Textbook of Cardiovascular Medicine. 8th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2007:chap 70.
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