Chest pain is a common symptom. It may start over the left side or center of the chest and spread to the neck and left shoulder. It is usually a sharp, stabbing pain that may be worse with deep breathing or lying down.
Other problems may be:
Shortness of breath
Fever and chills
Pain when swallowing
Weakness and lack of energy
Lack of hunger
The doctor will ask about your child’s symptoms and health history. A physical exam will be done. It will focus on the heart. The doctor will listen for a grating or rubbing sound in your child’s heart. There may also be a crackle sound in your child’s lungs.
Blood tests will be done to look for signs of inflammation.
Images of the chest may be taken. This can be done with:
Acute and recurrent pericarditis. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/condition/acute-and-recurrent-pericarditis. Accessed March 9, 2021.
Pediatric pericarditis. Cincinnati Children's website. Available at: http://www.cincinnatichildrens.org/health/info/heart/diagnose/peri.htm. Accessed March 9, 2021.
Pericarditis. Seattle Children's Hospital website. Available at https://www.seattlechildrens.org/conditions/pericarditis. Accessed March 9, 2021.
Yusuf SW, Hassan SA, et al. Pericardial disease: a clinical review. Expert Rev Cardiovasc Ther. 2016;14(4):525-539.
Last reviewed December 2020 by
EBSCO Medical Review Board
Kari Kassir, MD
Last Updated: 3/9/2021
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