What is the significance of a pericardial friction rub in the evaluation 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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Physical findings in acute pericarditis and cardiac tamponade are discussed in this section.

Acute pericarditis

A pericardial friction rub is pathognomonic for acute pericarditis; the rub has a scratching, grating sound similar to leather rubbing against leather. Serial examinations may be necessary for detection, as a friction rub may be transient from one hour to the next and is present in approximately 50% of cases.

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