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You are here : 3-RX.com > Medical Encyclopedia > Diseases and Conditions > Bacterial Pericarditis
      Category : Health Centers > Heart Diseases

Bacterial Pericarditis

Alternate Names : Pyogenic Pericarditis

Overview, Causes, & Risk Factors | Symptoms & Signs | Diagnosis & Tests | Prevention & Expectations | Treatment & Monitoring

The pericardium is a sac-like structure that surrounds the heart. Inflammation of the heart sac, called pericarditis, can be due to infections caused by bacteria.

What is going on in the body?

In most cases, a person with this disease starts out having an infection, such as pneumonia, somewhere else in the body. The bacteria can then get into the bloodstream and reach the heart. Infection of the heart sac results in bacterial pericarditis, which is life threatening.

What are the causes and risks of the disease?

Several different bacteria can cause this disease. Examples include staphylococci, group A streptococci, and the bacteria that cause Lyme disease.

The risks of this disease include:

  • cardiac tamponade, a condition in which too much fluid accumulates around the heart. This causes the heart to collapse, making it unable to pump blood.
  • constrictive pericarditis, a condition in which the heart sac gets stiff and reduces blood flow into and out of the heart
  • formation of a pocket of pus, called an abscess, in or around the heart
  • spread of the infection to other areas of the body
  • shock
  • death


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    Bacterial Pericarditis: Symptoms & Signs

    Author: Eric Berlin, MD
    Reviewer: Adam Brochert, MD
    Date Reviewed: 05/04/01

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