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In children, pericarditis is most likely to happen after surgery to repair heart defects. Other causes may include:
These are the most common symptoms of pericarditis:
Children may not be able to describe that they have "chest pain" or be able to explain exactly how they feel. Sometimes a child may only be irritable, have no appetite, or be tired.
The symptoms of pericarditis can be like other health conditions. Make sure your child sees his or her healthcare provider for a diagnosis.
The healthcare provider will ask about your child’s symptoms and health history. He or she will give your child a physical exam. The provider may hear an abnormal heart sound called a rub, when listening to your child's heart with a stethoscope. A rub is an abnormal sound caused by irritation of the pericardium. Your child may need tests, such as:
Your child's healthcare provider will likely refer you to a pediatric cardiologist. This is a doctor with special training to treat children with heart problems.
The goal of treatment for pericarditis is to find and eliminate the cause of the disease. Treatment may include:
Tips to help you get the most from a visit to your child’s healthcare provider:
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