Difference Between Pericarditis and Heart Attack


Two conditions of the heart that are often interlinked are pericarditis and myocardial infarction, better known as a heart assail. A eye attack and pericarditis tin be interlinked or occur independently of each other, dependant on the scenario and cause behind each condition.

What is pericarditis?


The pericardium is the membrane that surrounds the heart muscle. When this membrane becomes inflamed, it is in a status referred to equally pericarditis. In that location are various causes of pericarditis, and these include viral or bacterial infection, parasites or fungi, types of cancer, and whatever other types of inflammation such equally that caused by a heart attack (also referred to as myocardial infarction).


Symptoms experienced past patients vary merely are nigh unremarkably:

  • Chest pain: behind the sternum, worsening when cough and laying down
  • Swelling in the abdomen and legs
  • Coughing
  • Feeling weak, sickly and being fatigued
  • Low fever
  • Eye palpitations such as a racing or pounding middle
  • Feeling brusk of breath when laying downwards


Pericarditis can be diagnosed through the apply of an EKG (electrocardiogram) machine. An EKG motorcar requires skin sensors, or electrodes, to be placed on the 12 areas of the trunk. Half-dozen placed on the limbs and six placed along the chest surface area. These electrodes provide electrical views of the center at different angles, thus presenting a full view in combination. This full view is presented as an EKG reading that is printed on specialized paper to measure rhythm, charge per unit, axis of the heart, hypertrophy and detect infarction.

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On an EKG reading, pericarditis appears as an elevated ST segment which sags downwards, and it elevates the T waves off its normal baseline.

Other tests such as claret tests for cardiac markers are ofttimes performed.

What is a middle attack?


A heart attack, also divers as myocardial infarction, occurs when there is a complete blockage of a coronary artery in the heart. The completely occluded artery causes an area of the heart muscle (myocardium) to become deprived of oxygen (infarcted) and that area becomes expressionless. When the are becomes expressionless, or necrotic, information technology is unable to contract and and then that area in the heart stops working.


The general symptoms of a heart set on are as follows:

  • Discomfort in the centre of the chest, a feeling of chest pressure, a squeezing awareness and chest pain
  • Pain and discomfort radiating to the jaw, back, artillery and sometimes in the stomach
  • Nausea, airheaded feeling, and cold sweats
  • Feeling brusk of breath accompanied with chest hurting or without


Just as for pericarditis, myocardial infarction can be diagnosed through the utilize of an EKG machine.

During a centre set on there are changes seen on an EKG reading. The EKG will also show which coronary avenue or branch is occluded, narrowed, and where there is a lowering of blood supply to the eye. When there is a reduction in claret supply during a middle assault, the EKG will show an inverted T moving ridge on the reading. When there is injury to the middle muscle present there is ST superlative on the EKG reading. If the eye attack has already resulted in necrosis, or dead heart muscle, so significant Q waves appear on the EKG reading.

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Other tests such as x-rays and scans are also performed.

Table of comparison between pericarditis and a eye attack


Although pericarditis and a center attack are cardiac conditions with overlapping symptoms, each condition has unique attributes and can be independently diagnosed. Pericarditis is an inflammatory condition of the pericardium around the heart which can occur independently or equally a complication of a heart attack, where a heart attack is a condition involving restricted or occluded blood flow to the heart.


Is pericarditis a heart attack?

Pericarditis is the inflammation of the membrane which surrounds the heart. Information technology is not a eye assail just can occur equally a complication of one.

How can you tell the difference between pericarditis and myocardial infarction (MI)?

Although pericarditis and myocardial infarction appear the aforementioned on an EKG test, in that location is i electrode on the EKG which will differentiate the ii. Additionally, at that place are certain symptoms which are specific to either one of the two conditions, for example, limb swelling is seen in patients with pericarditis.

Does pericarditis increase the risk of a heart assail?

Pericarditis does not necessarily increment the risk of a heart attack just can be a complication after having a heart attack. Pericarditis can increase the risk for other heart complications relating to the sac effectually the heart, such as cardiac tamponade.

What can pericarditis exist mistaken for?

Owing to the fact that pericarditis and a heart set on (myocardial infarction) can both nowadays ST segment superlative on an EKG reading, pericarditis may be mistaken for a center set on. In addition to this, the symptoms felt for both conditions overlap and are often very similar.


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