In a perusal of the literature one encounters diverse opinions concerning the rôle of pain in pericarditis.
Pain may be felt in the cardiac region and often in the epigastrium, but is absent in many cases. Dyspnea and pectoral distress are almost constant.
Hirschfelder,2 considers that "In simple fibrinous pericarditis, precordial pain is the most striking symptom."
Pain is frequently present; it may be lancinating, dull or heavy, localized in the fourth and fifth spaces or referred like angina pectoris, but modified by pressure.
Pick and Hecht4 write:
Pericarditis usually causes discomfort which is localized in the region of the heart and is described as pressure. Pronounced pain may be present radiating to the arms and shoulders. Epigastric pains have also been observed.
Norris and Landis5 assert:
Pain may be entirely absent or may be of a very sharp, stabbing character. Usually it is felt over
CAPPS JA. PERICARDIAL PAIN: AN EXPERIMENTAL AND CLINICAL STUDY. Arch Intern Med (Chic). 1927;40(5):715–725. doi:10.1001/archinte.1927.00130110145013
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