Heart and Blood Conditions

Pericarditis Symptoms and Diagnosis

  • Schedule an appointment +

    • For appointments in Seattle, Bellevue, Everett, Federal Way, Olympia, Tri-Cities and Wenatchee, call 206-987-2515.
    • For appointments in Tacoma and Silverdale, call 253-272-1812.
    • For appointments in Alaska, call 907-339-1945.
    • How to schedule

    If this is a medical emergency, call 911.

  • Find a doctor +

  • Locations +

    • Seattle Children's Main Campus: 206-987-2515
    • Bellevue Clinic and Surgery Center: 425-454-4644
    • Everett: 425-304-6080
    • South Clinic in Federal Way: 253-838-5878
    • Olympia: 360-459-5009
    • South Sound Cardiology Clinics: 253-272-1812
    • Tri-Cities (Richland): 509-946-0976
    • Wenatchee: 509-662-9266
    • Pediatric Cardiology of Alaska: 907-339-1945
    • Seattle Children's doctors provide many cardiac services at regional sites throughout the Pacific Northwest. See our complete list of Heart Center locations.

  • Refer a patient +

    • If you are a provider, fax a New Appointment Request Form (NARF) (PDF) (DOC) to 206-985-3121 or 866-985-3121 (toll-free).
    • No pre-referral work-up is required for most conditions. If you have already done testing such as an EKG, Holter monitor or echocardiogram, please fax this information as well as relevant clinic notes and the NARF to 206-985-3121 or 866-985-3121 (toll-free).
    • Your patient will be seen as quickly as possible by the provider who is the best match for managing the current problem.
    • View our complete Heart Center Referral Information (PDF).

Symptoms of Pericarditis

The main symptom of pericarditis is chest pain. Frequently, the pain is sharp. Often, it gets worse when the child lies down or breathes deeply and gets better when they sit up and lean forward.

A child with pericarditis may also:

  • Feel weak or more tired than normal
  • Have trouble breathing
  • Have a fever

Pericarditis Diagnosis

The doctor will ask for details about any symptoms your child has, their health history and your family health history.

To diagnose pericarditis, your doctor will examine your child and use a stethoscope to listen to their heart and lungs. Sometimes, doctors can hear the sound of the pericardium rubbing on the heart.

An electrocardiogram and echocardiography will usually be done to help diagnose pericarditis and evaluate heart function. Sometimes a CT (computed tomography) scan or an MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) of the heart will also be needed.

Your child may also need blood tests to check for infection.

Contact Us

Contact the Heart Center at 206-987-2015 for a cardiac referral, a second opinion or more information.