Pericarditis During Pregnancy: How You Are Affected

Pericarditis During Pregnancy Can Be Safely Treated

Pericarditis during PregnancyAlthough disease of the pericardium may occur sporadically during pregnancy, there is no evidence that pregnancy increases the susceptibility to pericardial diseases. The outcomes of pregnancies in women with pericardial disease are now similar to the outcomes expected in the general population, due to the rise in effective medicine. More difficult cases of pericarditis during pregnancy may require a multidisciplinary approach, requiring knowledge from different subspecialties such as cardiology, internal medicine, obstetrics and prenatal care.

There have been very few studies related to the management of pericarditis during pregnancy. While common warnings of avoiding unnecessary medications during pregnancy should be followed, proper diagnosis and management of pericardial disease may be crucial for the outcome of the pregnancy.

Typical Presentation Of Pericarditis during Pregnancy

Hydro pericardium is the most frequent form of pericardial concern in pregnancy. It is typically a small, clinically silent pericardial effusion present in the third trimester in approximately 40% of healthy pregnant women.


Pericarditis during Pregnancy

When larger effusions are detected in pregnant women, it raises concerns for other ailments such as:

  • Hydrops fetalis
  • Rh disease
  • Hypoalbuminemia
  • Autoimmune disorders

Many forms of pericardial diseases can occur sporadically in pregnant women. The most frequent are:

  • Excessive water and salt retention in subjects with a higher mean weight gain
  • Bacteria
  • Virus infection
  • Hypertension
  • Slightly elevated blood pressure and/or non-specific ST-T changes in association with pericardial effusion
  • Renal failure associated with severe kidney infection
  • Autoimmune disease

Medication When You Suffer Pericarditis During Pregnancy

Since it’s important to reduce the amount of medications taken during pregnancy, medications such as Colchicine and procedures such as pericardiocentesis should only be performed under extreme conditions. Pericardiocentesis should only be performed for very large effusions that are causing signs of cardiac tamponade, or if the presence of  suppurative tuberculous or neoplastic pericardial effusion is suspected.

In order to avoid fetal x-ray exposure, the use of Echocardiography is preferred over the use of fluoroscopic guidance in pericardiocentesis. A pericardiectomy should be reserved for significant pericardial constriction and resistant bacterial infections.

Hospitalization With Pericarditis During Pregnancy

Hospitalization is required when electrocardiographic changes or physiologic impairments are present. Although most pericardial disorders in pregnant women with Pericarditis during pregnancy are managed throughout the 9 months, a follow up is highly recommended to ensure the disorder has been taken care of. If the follow up is conducted right after the pregnancy, medical professionals can help resolve any complications.

What Treatment Options Are Available To Me When I Have Percarditis During Pregnancy?

During pregnancy, anti-inflammatory drugs and antibiotics can be taken to reduce acute pain and treat infections, although they are not recommended during the first trimester unless absolutely necessary.

Corticosteroids for systemic autoimmune disorders and drainages for purulent pericarditis can also be used, although any medications and procedures should be carefully monitored to ensure that no complications arise involving the fetus.

With proper treatment and careful observation of Pericarditis during pregnancy, a normal infant delivery is expected. The pericardial effusion typically disappears within two months after delivery, and no residual complications are expected. In most cases, further treatment is not required. Here is some additional information for you when you are pregnant and suffer pericarditis  

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