I have a 17 year old daughter who has been diagnosed with chronic pericarditis. Every 4-6 weeks for the last several months her symptom put her in bed for upwards of a week. She is currently seeing a rhuematologist due to the high inflammation levels that occur in her body during a flare up. She is on prednisone, colcrys, and plaquniel. She has seen about every specialist there is to see. She is a mystery to them and they are at a loss as to how to help her. They have tested her for everything under the sun that may have caused pericarditis and have come up with nothing. Pleural effusions seems to accompany the pericaridits during her flare ups. With her most current episode she was in severe pain in her chest shoulder and neck (this is typical) but, when we had an echo and blood work done, the results were normal. (The chalked it up as maybe it was to early in her episode to show up. She is otherwise a very healthly and active child. Help! Any ideas would be greatly appreciated!
Chronic pericarditis can be very difficult. If your daughter's echocardiogram was "normal" then the amount of fluid causing the discomfort must be miniscule. I am assuming that her electrocardiogram (ECG) is abnormal, or else it would be very difficult to make the diagnosis of pericarditis. Most pericarditis in children is viral in origin, and may require protracted rest and a long course of anti-inflammatory medication with a very slow taper. Indomethacin is sometimes helpful. Prednisone is often very useful. If the issue is unclear, please make sure that your child is seen by a cardiologist and just doesn't have the cardiac testing done.
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