Treatment and Prevention of Pericarditis
Only an experienced doctor can interpret the results of the tests correctly and choose proper treatment regimen. If pericarditis is treated properly and timely, the prognosis is usually favorable. The methods of treatment of this disorder vary and depend on its nature, clinical course and associated diseases.
The goals of the treatment of pericarditis are:
- To reduce the pain and liquidate the inflammation;
- To cure the disease that have caused pericarditis (if it is known);
- To eliminate possible complications.
The very treatment is usually divided into:
It involves the use of various drugs:
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory preparations are administered to fight inflammation;
- If a patient suffers from purulent pericarditis associated with bacterial infection, antibiotic therapy should be indicated. Antibiotic drug is administered taking into consideration the specific pathogen that has caused this infection and its sensitivity to the drug. For this purpose puncture of the pericardium or pericardial cavity drainage (together with the introduction of antibiotic agent into the cavity) are performed to improve the outflow of the accumulated fluid. At the same time, the patient should take antibiotics orally, intramuscularly or intravenously, because it significantly improves the efficiency of the antibacterial therapy and the condition of the patient;
- Glucocorticoids (hormones) can be administered to promote the rapid resolution of the fluid accumulated in the pericardial cavity;
- Painkillers of various types and combinations are administered to reduce pain syndrome;
- Metabolic drugs are widely used to normalize metabolic processes in the pericardium.
- Subtotal pericardiectomy – it involves surgical removal of the adhesive process in the pericardium. During this procedure doctor performs resection of the changed parts of the pericardium to remove scarred tissue;
- If the pericardial cavity is rapidly filled with fluid, then pericardiocentesis (puncture of the pericardium) is indicated in order to remove this fluid as soon as possible and reduce the risk of cardiac tamponade. Also, this procedure is performed if the treatment lasts for more than 2 weeks and the effect of this treatment is insignificant.
All the patients having pericarditis should:
- Stay in bed during the whole course of treatment;
- Have a nutritious diet and eat 5-6 times a day so as not to overload the stomach, heart and other organs. Salt can hold fluid in the body, therefore, salt consumption should be reduced in order to reduce swellings and prevent their progression.
Prevention of pericarditis
Pericarditis is a very serious condition and one should always remember it in order to promptly and thoroughly treat any disease that may cause heart complications. Even a simple cold can result in a surgery!
In order to prevent such disease as pericarditis one should:
- Promptly treat the sites of infection in the body (carious teeth, parodontosis, stomatitis, maxillary sinusitis, tonsillitis, etc.);
- It is important to be followed up by a cardiologist and rheumatologist if having suffered from pericarditis. It is necessary to have a regular electrocardiogram and cardiac ultrasound control as well as the sanation of the chronic infection sites. Healthy lifestyle and moderate physical activity are important as well.
- If a person has never had electrocardiogram and echocardiography, he should undergo these tests.
And remember that a healthy diet, physical activity, regular heart check-ups and treatment of any infections one has are the key to a healthy heart without pericarditis!