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When listening to the heart with a stethoscope, the health care provider can hear a sound called a pericardial rub. The heart sounds may be muffled or distant. There may be other signs of fluid in the pericardium (pericardial effusion).
If the disorder is severe, there may be:
If fluid has built up in the pericardial sac, it may show on:
These tests show:
Other findings vary depending on the cause of pericarditis.
To rule out heart attack, the health care provider may order serial cardiac marker levels (CPK-MB and troponin I). Other laboratory tests may include:
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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