Medical Surgical Pericarditis #4

Question

A client reports a cough, fatigue, and a low-grade fever. Which medical history of a client should the nurse report immediately since it is most commonly associated with pericarditis?

Answers

  1. Recent strep infection
    • Rationale:

      This answer is not correct because a recent bacterial, strep infection is a rare cause of pericarditis. Pericarditis most often has an unknown etiology, but a medical history of recent viral illnesses, such as influenza, Epstein-Barr, mumps, varicella, and rubella, are associated with the condition. However, an inadequately treated strep bacterial infection is an etiology for rheumatic fever that can cause endocarditis, but not pericarditis.

  2. Recent influenza infection
    • Rationale:

      This answer is correct because a medical history of recent viral illnesses, such as influenza, Epstein-Barr, mumps, varicella, and rubella, are associated with the condition. The most common cause is an idiopathic etiology.

  3. 20 year history of osteoarthritis
    • Rationale:

      This answer is not correct because a 20 year history of osteoarthritis is not generally associated with pericarditis. A history of autoimmune conditions, including rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus, and sarcoidosis, are frequently associated with pericarditis.

  4. Hypoparathyroidism
    • Rationale:

      This answer is not correct because hypoparathyroidism is not associated with pericarditis. Metabolic causes, such as hypothyroidism, gout, renal failure, and anorexia nervosa are frequent causes of pericarditis.

Overview

Pericarditis most often has an unknown etiology, but a medical history of a recent viral illness, such as influenza is associated with the condition.

Explanation

Learning Outcomes

Pericarditis is the inflammation of the membranous sac that surrounds the heart. Pericarditis most often has an unknown etiology, but a medical history of recent viral illnesses, such as influenza, Epstein-Barr, mumps, varicella, and rubella, are associated with the condition. On the other hand, bacterial, fungal, and parasitic etiologies are rare. Pericarditis can have non-infection causes, including neoplastic, metabolic, autoimmune, traumatic, drug-related, and cardiovascular origins. Clinical manifestations of pericarditis includes acute chest pain, coughing, fatigue, fever, and shortness of breath. The client often feels they are having a heart attack so immediate medical attention is needed to rule an myocardial infarction out.

Test Taking Tip

Understand that bacterial infection or illness is most associated with endocarditis and viral infection or illness is most associated with pericarditis.

Video Rationale