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Chronic Pericarditis

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Has anyone experienced chronic episodes of pericarditis with their scleroderma? My husband is currently battling this and up to now they've never drained the fluid just gave him Indocine and pain meds. This time the fluid based on CT scan is substantial and we have a repeat echo tomorrow to better evaluate it. He is just miserable with each episode and it takes so much out of him. Just curious if anyone else is having this problem.



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I am so sorry to read about the problems your husband is having. Heart problems are always scary. I, too have heart involvement with my scleroderma, but pericarditis is not one of them. Mine are associated with the conductive system. In reference to the pericarditis, I did find some information on WebMD. Here is its page on Pericarditis. It does state scleroderma as a possible cause. Here's what is says about Treatments:

Treatment is based on the cause and may include:

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory agents (NSAIDs) to decrease the pain and inflammation.

Steroids, used occasionally for severe attacks.

Antibiotics, if the pericarditis is due to infection.

Most patients recover in two to four weeks.


I hope this is helpful. Welcome to the forum Darling. I'm so glad that you have found us for support and information. It's a great group here. Please keep us informed on how your husband is doing.


Big Hugs,

Janey Willis

ISN Support Specialist

(Retired) ISN Assistant Webmaster

(Retired) ISN News Director

(Retired) ISN Technical Writer for Training Manuals

International Scleroderma Network (ISN)

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Hi Janey -


Thanks for the info. Yes, you are right anything pertaining to the heart is scary. They actually drained his cardial effusion yesterday because he was in cardiac tamponade. They removed 700cc of fluid from around his heart. It was beginning to collapse his heart...no wonder he couldn't breathe. I'm hopeful that the fluid doesn't accumulate again and once the pathology of the fluid comes back then they'll have a better idea of what may have caused it. Thanks again for the info. I have found this discussion board to be very helpful in a number of ways. I'm glad I found it.


Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!!



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Hi TeeCee,


Wow! That sounds like a lot of fluid they drained. I hope your husband is breathing much easier now and is much more comfortable. AND, I hope they come back with some answers for you both. Please do keep us posted. And, have a wonderful Thanksgiving.


Warm wishes,


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