Heart and Blood Conditions

Pericarditis Symptoms and Diagnosis

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.