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Note: All hospitals have Emergency Rooms unless otherwise noted.
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If you experience shortness of breath and fatigue with a low-grade fever and dry cough, call your WellStar physician. If you experience severe chest pain - a common symptom of pericarditis, but also of a heart attack - go to the emergency room immediately.

Pericarditis Prevention

Most initial cases of acute pericarditis cannot be prevented. Medication can help reduce the likelihood of acute pericarditis from reoccurring or evolving into chronic pericarditis.

Reduce Your Risk of Pericarditis

You can lower your chances of recurring forms of pericarditis by getting prompt treatment, and adhering to the plan you and your WellStar physician agree to.

Tests and Screenings for Pericarditis

In diagnosing for pericarditis, your WellStar physician will take a careful medical history and perform a physical examination. With a stethoscope, your physician can listen for a muffled and distant sound in your heart called a pericardial rub as well as other signs.

Based on the exam, your physician might order some of these tests:

  • Chest X-ray to evaluate for radiographic signs of an enlarged heart
  • Electrocardiogram (ECG) to record the electrical activity of your heart and to evaluate for an arrhythmia or a prior heart attack
  • Echocardiogram, an ultrasound test, designed to show the pumping performance of your heart
  • Cardiac Stress Tests which measure your heart’s performance during exertion
  • Coronary Catheterization or angiogram in which a thin, flexible tube (catheter) is inserted into your groin or arm and guided through the aorta into your heart. Dye is injected through the tube to evaluate the arteries that deliver blood and oxygen to the heart.
  • Cardiac Computerized Tomography (CT) Scan or Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), which can provide a three-dimensional image of your heart
  • Blood tests to check your kidney, thyroid or liver functions and to ensure there has not been a heart attack.