Addressing Recurrent Pericarditis

Nurse and man clutching heart
The Addressing Recurrent Pericarditis initiative is a multifaceted effort to improve diagnosis, treatment and quality of life for patients experiencing this disease. Through this initiative, a cohort of health care champions will participate in a learning collaborative model to identify gaps in and barriers to care, better understand the patient pathway, create best practices and disseminate these insights nationally.

Recurrent Pericarditis logo

Pericarditis is inflammation of the pericardium, a sac-like structure with two thin layers of tissue that surrounds the heart to hold it in place and help it work. A small amount of fluid keeps the layers separate so there’s less friction between them as the heart beats.

Pericarditis can be attributed to several factors, including viral, bacterial, fungal and other infections. Other possible causes of pericarditis include heart attack or heart surgery, inflammatory conditions, radiation, injuries and medications, such as penicillin and doxorubicin.

Symptoms of recurrent pericarditis include recurring episodes of:

  • Chest pain, often in the middle or left side of the chest, with referral to the neck, left shoulder or arm. Pain is generally sharp or stabbing in nature
  • Chest pain that is worse when lying flat, with body motion, during inhaling or during swallowing that may be relieved by leaning forward while seated
  • Low-grade, intermittent fever
  • Weakness, malaise
  • Difficulty breathing, cough, palpitations and difficulty swallowing
  • Tiredness

Addressing Recurrent Pericarditis Participating Sites

The American Heart Association will work with health care professionals at 15 regional health care sites to implement initiative activities, improve site performance and quality of care, and support the Association's mission to be a relentless force for a world of longer, healthier lives.
Recurring Pericarditis Map

Nationally supported by

The American Heart Association’s Addressing Recurrent Pericarditis educational content is nationally supported by Kiniksa Pharmaceuticals.
Nationally supported by