ZEPHYR / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY ZEPHYR / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Heart inflammation. Coloured X-ray of a patient's heart (orange) in profile showing constrictive pericarditis, inflammation of the lining of the heart (pericardium). This has a variety of causes, including bacterial, viral or fungal infection, heart attack, heart injury or cancer. It causes fever and pain in the chest, which may increase on inhalation or swallowing. Treatment is of the underlying cause, although painkilling and anti- inflammatory drugs may be given to treat the symptoms. If fluid accumulates within the lining of the heart, it may require surgical aspiration. Severe cases of pericarditis may require removal of part of the pericardium.
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