Heart-shaped Inflammation: What do you know about pericarditis?

By: Staff

4 Min Quiz

Image: refer to hsw

About This Quiz

Like any surgery, dental procedures run a small risk of infection, which can settle in the pericardium: the thin, sac-like membrane that surrounds the heart. Could you identify the symptoms of pericarditis -- and how much do you know about its treatments?

The pericardium is a membrane that surrounds which vital organ?

The pericardium is a thin, sac-like membrane that surrounds the heart.


Which of the following is the most common symptom of acute pericarditis?

Sharp, persistent chest pain is a telltale sign that you might be suffering from acute pericarditis.


How long does acute pericarditis typically last?

Though there is no minimum timeframe for acute pericarditis, most cases are cured within 10 days.


How many layers does the pericardium consist of?

The pericardium is made up of two layers, which contain a fluid that protects and lubricates the heart.


Generally speaking, how long does chronic pericarditis last?

Chronic (or recurrent) pericarditis typically lasts at least six months, but can continue to persist much longer.


What is the term associated with dangerous levels of fluid in the pericardium?

Excessive fluid buildup in the pericardial envelope is known as pericardial effusion.


Which is the most common cause of pericarditis?

Though all of the following are known causes for pericarditis, the majority of cases are never traced to a specific cause.


Why has dental work been linked to pericarditis?

Like any surgery, dental procedures run a small risk of infection, which can settle in the pericardium.


What other dental issues can result in bacterial infection?

Any time the tissue surrounding the teeth bleeds, there is a risk of infection.


Which of the following is the primary risk demographic for pericarditis?

The American Heart Association reports that men between the ages of 20 and 50 are the highest "at risk" group for pericarditis.


In addition to chest pain, what other symptoms can be attributed to pericarditis?

Other symptoms of pericarditis can include muscle aches, swelling in your extremities, low-grade fever, exhaustion and coughing


If you suspect your chest pain might be pericarditis, when should you contact your doctor?

Chest pain that lasts more than a day and doesn’t respond to heartburn medication should be addressed immediately.


Until fairly recently, dentists premedicated patients with heart murmurs to prevent which of the following ailments?

The prevailing standard of care, until recently, was to premedicate all heart murmur patients to prevent any bacterial infection of the heart.


What specific factor gave rise to re-evaluating the practice of premedicating all heart murmur patients before dental work?

Recent research raised concerns that low-dose antibiotic treatments prior to dental procedures could actually aid the growth of resistant strains of bacteria.


What dental patients continue to receive antibiotic medications prior to dental procedures?

The risk of infection for patients with artificial heart valves or a history of endocarditis requires premedication.


What is the overriding concern of dental work with relation to heart murmur patients?

Due to the pooling of blood near faulty or leaky valves, heart murmur patients can be susceptible to infection.


Which governing body was responsible for a new statement policy redefining the standard of care for premedication during dental procedures?

The research that led to a revised standard of care regarding premedication for dental procedures was taken on by the dental and medical communities together.


Some heart attack patients suffer a delayed onset of pericarditis. What is this called?

A delayed onset of pericarditis following heart trauma is referred to as Dresser's syndrome.


If treated immediately, what is the recovery rate for patients suffering from pericarditis?

The vast majority of pericarditis cases, regardless of origin, can be treated successfully if treated quickly.


If not treated quickly, the pericardium can lose its elasticity, resulting in what condition?

Inflammation from constrictive pericarditis makes it hard for the heart to do its job, and the effects can be long lasting.


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