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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.

Contact Information

Cardiovascular Medicine
Division of the CardioVascular Institute
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
330 Brookline Avenue
Boston, MA 02215