Pericardial Disease or Pericarditis
Inflammation of the Pericardium
Sac Covering Heart Becomes Swollen and Irritated
Pericarditis is an inflammation of the pericardium, the thin, double-layered, fluid-filled sac that covers the outer surface of your heart. The pericardium is designed to shield your heart from infection and contain it inside the chest wall as well as to keep the heart from expanding too much when blood volume rises. When the pericardium is inflamed, it becomes swollen and irritated.
Acute vs. Chronic
Acute pericarditis usually lasts anywhere from a few days to three or four. Infrequently, pericarditis is chronic, and may last for months.