Most patients with pericarditis recover quickly. When pericarditis is caused by a virus or when the cause is unknown, recovery usually takes one to three weeks. Infection, tuberculous, and cancer related pericarditis have longer recovery times or the condition can be long-term. Full recovery from pericarditis is most successful with rest and ongoing physician care.
- Recovery takes longer if drainage is required to remove excess fluid around the pericardium (pericardiocentesis) or if the pericardium needs to be surgically removed (pericardiectomy).
- The treatment for pericarditis depends on the cause.
- Most patients take anti-inflammatory drugs or glucocorticoid medications for pain and are told to rest.
- Pericarditis may be life-threatening if left untreated.
- Pericarditis is a condition in which the membrane, or sac, around the heart is inflamed.