What is the pathophysiology of acute pericarditis?

Updated: Apr 02, 2019
  • Author: Sean Spangler, MD; Chief Editor: Terrence X O'Brien, MD, MS, FACC  more...
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In most cases of acute pericarditis, the pericardium is acutely inflamed and has an infiltration of polymorphonuclear (PMN) leukocytes and pericardial vascularization. Often, the pericardium manifests a fibrinous reaction with exudates and adhesions. The pericardium may develop a serous or hemorrhagic effusion. A granulomatous pericarditis occurs with tuberculosis, fungal infections, rheumatoid arthritis (RA), and sarcoidosis. In recurrent pericarditis, the innate immune system appears to play a role in its pathogenesis. [6, 7]

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