Difference Between Pericarditis and Endocarditis

Inflammation of the membranes that cover the heart muscle is called pericarditis. Inflammation of the heart's endothelial tissues, including the heart valves, is known as endocarditis.

What is Pericarditis?

When the membranes around the heart become inflamed, a medical condition known as pericarditis develops.

Causes and risk factors − Pericarditis might arise from a few different sources. Inflammation may be the result of cardiac disease, heart attack, trauma, infection, or autoimmune diseases like lupus, which cause the body to mistakenly attack its own tissues. Inflammation of the pericardium is more common in men than in women.

Diagnosis − Imaging techniques such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), X-rays, and computed tomography (CT) scans can be used for diagnosis. Inflammation of the pericardium may also be detected on an electrocardiogram (ECG) trace or by listening for a pericardial rub.

Symptoms − Pericarditis is characterized by intense, stabbing pain in the middle of the chest and down both arms. When you breathe, chest pain increases.

Complications − Cardiac tamponade, caused by fluid accumulation around the heart, is a frequent consequence of pericarditis and can be fatal if untreated. The fluid between the pericardial membranes causes cardiac tamponade, which prevents the heart from expanding and contracting normally.

Treatment − Pain relievers, notably anti-inflammatory drugs, are all that is needed for mild pericarditis. Colchicine and corticosteroids are also occasionally used. Having fluid removed from the heart may be necessary if it becomes swollen.

What is Endocarditis?

Inflammation of the heart's endocardium (the inner lining, which includes the valves) is called endocarditis.

Causes and risk factors − Cancer, lupus, and other autoimmune disorders, as well as bacterial or viral infections like tuberculosis and pneumonia, are just a few of the numerous potential triggers of endocarditis. Endocarditis is more likely to occur in those who have previously suffered from

infectious diseases like tuberculosis or other bacterial illnesses. Being over the age of 60, being born with a heart defect, or having a cardiac pacemaker or mechanical valve inserted are other factors.

Diagnosis − Endocarditis can be diagnosed with the use of blood tests and echocardiograms. An issue with the structure or function of one or more cardiac valves can be visualized on echocardiography. A particular bacterial infection may be detected through blood testing.

Symptoms − Although non-infectious endocarditis can be just as serious as infective endocarditis, it often presents with fewer symptoms and is less severe. Endocarditis (infectious and non-infectious) symptoms may manifest if deposits on the valves have grown large enough to be seen. Vegetations are what people often refer to as the deposits that disrupt normal blood flow and heart function. As a result, you may have symptoms including chest tightness, fatigue, and palpitations. Besides these, fever and night sweats are also common signs of infective endocarditis.

Complications − When valves don't work properly, patients risk developing blood clots that can cause a stroke or heart attack. Infectious endocarditis can cause septic shock and possibly death if left untreated.

Treatment − Patients with endocarditis can benefit from anticoagulant medication, which prevents the formation of blood clots. To treat infective endocarditis, doctors may use IV antibiotics or even operate to replace damaged heart valves. The risk of mortality from infectious endocarditis is high. Patients may require prolonged hospitalization for therapy and close observation.

Differences Pericarditis and Endocarditis

The following table highlights the major differences between Pericarditis and Endocarditis −





Pericarditis is defined as an inflammatory condition affecting the pericardium.

Endocarditis is defined as an inflammatory disorder affecting the endocardium, which includes the valves.


Diseases like lupus, as well as infections and chest injuries, can trigger pericarditis.

Infections (often bacterial) or underlying conditions like lupus can lead to endocarditis, although other illnesses, such as tuberculosis or Staphylococcus aureus, are also possible triggers.


The primary symptom of pericardial inflammation is discomfort, which can be localized to the chest, arms, or both.

Heart palpitations, shortness of breath, a high temperature, and night sweats may be the only symptoms you have if you have endocarditis, or you may experience no symptoms at all.


Pain relievers that work by reducing inflammation are one option for treating pericarditis, along with colchicine and corticosteroids.

In endocarditis treatment, if valve deposits are severely impairing heart function, surgery may be required in addition to intravenous antibiotics.


In this article, we explained in detail the various differences between Pericarditis and Endocarditis.

Updated on: 27-Jan-2023


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