Discussions By Condition: Heart conditions

chronic pericarditis

Posted In: Heart conditions 4 Replies
  • Posted By: Anonymous
  • May 19, 2006
  • 07:25 PM

I was diagnosed with acute pericarditis in May 2002. Since then I've had more episodes than I can count. My pericarditis is now referred to as chronic. I have had many medical tests to determine the cause and none have been found. I've even been to a cardiologist at Duke University Medical Center. Currently, I'm taking prednisone, colchicine, and amitryptiline. I pretty much control the dosage of prednisone by the way I feel. When I get it down to 5mg per day, I feel fortunate. However, after a few days at that dosage, my more severe symptoms reappear (chest pain). I had a pleural (sp.)effusion in 2003. I should also mention that I have a pacemaker. In 1997, when my first pacemaker was implanted on my LEFT side, my RIGHT lung was punctured. I can't help but wonder if that has something to do with the recurring pericarditis. The docs say no. Also about two weeks before my first episode, I had multiple bites by fire ants (connection?). The docs say no to that question as well. As you can see, I'm trying to blame this on something. Is this a relatively rare disease? Why isn't more known about it? I'm sick and tired of being sick and tired.

Barbara, South Carolina, USA

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  • Hi Barbara,I understand how you feel. I have had chest problems for almost 2 years now. The doctors tell me its pericarditis but also tell me they cant be 100% certain it is. I first got it in 2005, about 2-3 months after having pneumonia. This lasted about 8-9 months before it went away and returned about 4 months after that. It is now been months and still no answer. No one seems to know anything about it. I have changed doctors and she is trying to get things sorted but it always seems to take them so long to do anything. I am lucky and can still go to work although I want horse riding 3 days ago and have been in more pain then normal. I have tried Prednison with no luck and am now on ibprofen which also does little. I have trouble with my heart rate also. It doesn't take much to start it racing and pounds in my chest making me feel worse then ever.I have been looking it up on the net but cant seem to find much information, it all just tells me the same thing no matter what site I go to, and they always say there isn't much that can been done. I have read a lot of peoples problems on sites like this, an everyone has the same to say. Seems there maybe more people out there with this problem then the doctors think.I am off to a doctor today and hopefully get them to do a chest x-ray and possibly a CT scan to put mind at ease (if only a little) that there isn't something else going on.I hope you find something that works for you. Pleae let me know if you do, I would love to see if it could help me!:) AnnaNew Zealand
    Anonymous 42789 Replies Flag this Response
  • I have just read a study indicating that the active fixation (screw in) atrial or ventrical leads can cause blood related pericardial effusion or pericarditis. I happen to be an active member/owner of both. Good luck and enjoy the holidays as best you can!!!
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • December 16, 2006
    • 06:06 AM
    • 0
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  • Barbara I think that unregistered is "spot on" in regard to your chronic condition. Cardios or Electrophysiologist are never going to admit to mistakes, but in your case they have already had to re: lung puncture and pleural effusion. Is your current pain similar to the pain you experienced from the pleural effusion in 2003? Did you have to have a chest tube inserted when your lung was injured? What about antibiotic therapy? I think you are right in suspecting the pacemaker and/or previous lung damage probably causing your chronic condition. My wife just had lung surgery, so I am "up on" the pleura, lol. Have you googled "pleurisy" to see if you can relate to pain caused by this condition? You may have scar tissue on the outside of your lung that is causing the pain (pleurisy). My wife had scar tissue on the outside of her lung which caused her to have bouts of pleurisy. I don't suspect the ants caused this....Though I have had multiple bites from the little buggers.... You need to have all of the latest and greatest chest imaging done. Don't forget coronary artery blockages. What you feel could be due to them. If you have normal blood pressure, you could experiment by trying a dose of fast acting nitro when this pain starts and see if it were relieved. That would indicate possible blockages. Of course you would have to have your doctor in on you with this experiment. Good luck, Rj
    Irradiated 23 Replies
    • December 16, 2006
    • 03:48 PM
    • 0
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  • Anna:Having been in the medical field for nearly 25 years, I learned to do my own research. I also have very similar symptoms, also secondary to pneumonia. My research said that there is some link to the initial treatment with steroids (prednisone). There are several very good studies showing positive results with treatment with colchicine. I worked with my cardiologist, and started colchicine treatment (1.6 mg per day) - colchicine is commonly used for gout treatment.My results have shown improvement, but it is not perfect. It seems to suppress periodic attacks, but not eliminate them. I also have problems with tachycardia, and have seen significant improvement (but not elimination). I also found I needed to completely eliminate caffeine from my diet to reduce tachycardia. Colchicine does cause GI complaints of mild to moderate (but treatable with over the counter meds) level.Hope that helps.StanHi Barbara,I understand how you feel. I have had chest problems for almost 2 years now. The doctors tell me its pericarditis but also tell me they cant be 100% certain it is. I first got it in 2005, about 2-3 months after having pneumonia. This lasted about 8-9 months before it went away and returned about 4 months after that. It is now been months and still no answer. No one seems to know anything about it. I have changed doctors and she is trying to get things sorted but it always seems to take them so long to do anything. I am lucky and can still go to work although I want horse riding 3 days ago and have been in more pain then normal. I have tried Prednison with no luck and am now on ibprofen which also does little. I have trouble with my heart rate also. It doesn't take much to start it racing and pounds in my chest making me feel worse then ever.I have been looking it up on the net but cant seem to find much information, it all just tells me the same thing no matter what site I go to, and they always say there isn't much that can been done. I have read a lot of peoples problems on sites like this, an everyone has the same to say. Seems there maybe more people out there with this problem then the doctors think.I am off to a doctor today and hopefully get them to do a chest x-ray and possibly a CT scan to put mind at ease (if only a little) that there isn't something else going on.I hope you find something that works for you. Pleae let me know if you do, I would love to see if it could help me!:) AnnaNew Zealand
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • September 1, 2009
    • 08:33 PM
    • 0
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