Heart & Cardiology/Pericarditis

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Question
I had a large pericardial efussion 2 years ago. 1 liter of blood was drained 3 days later, it started to reacumulate and I was in tampenade. I was transferred to a hospital with thoractic surgeons. I had a pericardial window. A biopsy of the pericardium showed both chronic and acute inflammation. Since the efussion, sed rate, C-reactive protein and IGE were elevated and I had a positive ANA. My MCV and MCH have been low. Prior to the effusion, blood work, heart rate and blood pressure were very good. Since the efussion, I had tachycardia, elevated blood pressure and palpations. Verapamil has resolved those symptoms. I have been taking plaquenil for a year which normalized my sed rate and C-reactive protein. My ANA is lower but still elevated. My MCV and MCH are still low. Could the low MCV and MCH mean that the pericardium continues to slowly secrete blood? Do some people have chronic mild pericarditis/slow bleeding?  Is it possible to lead a normal life despite chronic  mild pericarditis? Do windows ever close up, putting the person at risk for another efussion?

Answer
Hi Amy,
Pericardial windows may close. Pericarditis is usually not a primary illness (such as a viral disease):
http://www.cardiachealth.org/your-pericardium#pericarditis
Your labs suggest your pericarditis may have resolved, but the only way forward is continued observation and testing till it is obvious the disease has been cured.
Hope this helps,
Dr T
http://www.cardiachealth.org/

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