Difference Between Pericarditis and Myocarditis

When the pericardial membrane becomes inflamed, it is called pericarditis. Inflammation of the heart muscle is known medically as myocarditis.

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 Myocarditis?

When the myocardium, the muscular layer of the heart, becomes inflamed, a disease known as myocarditis develops.

Causes and risk factors − In rare cases, doctors may be at a loss to explain what brought on the patient's myocarditis. However, viruses such as Covid-19, coxsackie virus, and influenza can also trigger this condition. Besides TB and sarcoidosis, there are a number of additional diseases that can result in myocarditis.

Myocarditis is more common in people with certain conditions, such as those who have used hazardous pharmaceuticals or who have viral infections like HIV.

Diagnosis − Abnormalities on an electrocardiogram (ECG) and other imaging tests, such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), help doctors make a diagnosis. Although some cardiac indicators (heart enzymes) can be helpful, a positive diagnosis can only be reached by performing an endomyocardial biopsy, in which a tiny portion of heart muscle is removed and studied.

Problems and Side-effects − The severity of the issue correlates with the severity of the symptoms. A rapid or otherwise abnormal heartbeat is a common sign. Additional symptoms include a rapid heart rate and a lack of oxygen in the blood. Myocarditis is dangerous since it can cause heart failure or even death. Myocarditis-related complications are a common cause of the need for a heart transplant.

Treatment − Medication such as beta blockers or angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors may be used as part of a supportive therapy regimen for the treatment of myocarditis. Heart transplantation or ventricular assist devices are two options that may be necessary in some cases.

Differences between Pericarditis and Myocarditis

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





When the pericardium becomes inflamed, it is called pericarditis.

When the myocardium becomes inflamed, it is called myocarditis.


Pericarditis can be brought on by an infection, a physical injury, or an autoimmune disorder.

Myocarditis can be brought on by an infection or sarcoidosis.


Pain and tightness in the chest are common complaints among those suffering from pericarditis.

Pain in the chest and a rapid heart rate are two signs of myocarditis.


Aspirin and other nonsteroidal anti- inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), colchicine, and corticosteroids are all used to treat pericarditis.

Heart medications including beta-blockers, ventricular assist devices, or heart transplants are used to treat myocarditis.


Pericardial effusion and cardiac tamponade are complications of pericarditis.

Myocarditis can lead to heart failure and abrupt death.


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

Updated on: 27-Jan-2023


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