The pericardium is a thin bag that surrounds your heart. It protects and lubricates your heart and keeps it in your chest. Problems may arise when the pericardium turns into a spot or fills it with liquid. Swelling can damage the heart and affect its function. Read on more pericardium functions.


pericardium functions

Osierdzie has several important roles:

Keeps your heart in place in the chest cavity. It prevents overstretching of the heart and overflowing with blood. It lubricates your heart to prevent friction with the tissues around it when it beats. It protects the heart against all infections that can spread from nearby organs, such as the lungs.


Pericardium layers

The pericardium has two layers:

In the pericardium functions, the fibrous pericardium is the outer layer. It is made of thick connective tissue and is attached to the diaphragm. Keeps your heart in place in the chest and protects against infections.
A serious pericardium is an inner layer. It is additionally divided into two additional layers: the visceral and parietal layers. The serous pericardium helps to lubricate your heart.
Between the two layers, there is a pericardial fluid filled with fluid. It lubricates the heart and protects against injuries.


Pericardial effusion

Pericardial effusion is the accumulation of too much fluid between the pericardium and the heart. This can happen due to damage or disease in the pericardium. Fluid may also build up in the case of pericardial bleeding after an injury.

Possible causes of pericardial effusion include:

diseases that cause inflammation, such as lupus or rheumatoid arthritis severe hypothyroidism (hypothyroidism)
infections recent heart surgery cancer that has spread to the pericardium kidney failure Symptoms of pericardial effusion include chest pressure or pain dyspnoea Difficulty breathing while lying down nausea feeling full in the chest trouble swallowing Excess fluid from the pericardial effusion can cause a strong pressure on the heart and damage it.


Pericardial cyst

In the pericardium functions, pericardial sac is a non-neoplastic, fluid-filled growth in the pericardium. This type of cyst is very rare, affecting only 1 in 100,000 people. Most people with pericardial cysts are born with them, but often they are not diagnosed until they reach the age of 20 or 30. Pericardial sac is usually found during chest x-rays, which is due to another reason because the same cysts do not cause symptoms.

Symptoms may only appear if the cyst is pushing on nearby organs or structures and may include:

pain in the right arm that radiates to the left shoulder,
fast, strong heart rate (palpitations),
feeling full in the chest,

Pericardial cysts are not dangerous in themselves. However, if they press on your lungs or other chest structures, they can cause complications such as inflammation or severe bleeding. Rarely, the pericardial cyst can lead to heart failure.

Other problems with the pericardium

Several other conditions and complications can also affect the pericardium. Pericarditis is pericardial edema. Possible reasons are:

infection by virus, bacteria or fungi autoimmune disorders such as lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, and scleroderma
heart attacks heart surgery injuries, such as a car accident kidney failure tuberculosis medicines such as phenytoin (Dilantin), warfarin (Coumadin) and procainamide Acute pericarditis starts suddenly and lasts only a few weeks. Chronic pericarditis develops more slowly and can last longer.

Typically, pericarditis is mild and heals over time. Sometimes it improves with a lot of rest. Heavier pericarditis may require pharmacological or surgical treatment to prevent damage to the heart.


Tamponade heart

In pericardium functions, cardiac tamponade is a condition that is caused by the accumulation of fluid, blood, gas or a tumor in the pericardial space. This accumulation puts pressure on the heart that prevents proper filling and emptying. Cardiac tamponade is not the same as pericardial effusion, although it may be a complication of fluid accumulation with pericardial effusion.

One of the symptoms of cardiac tamponade is a large drop in blood pressure. Cardiac tamponade is a medical emergency.


The pericardium anchors and protects your heart and allows it to move easily in the chest. When liquid or other substances accumulate in the pericardium, they can exert pressure on the heart and affect the ability to pump blood. Some diseases affecting the pericardium are not serious and will improve themselves. 


If you have symptoms such as chest pain, shortness of breath and a feeling of fullness in the chest, contact your doctor immediately. They can perform tests to find the cause of the problem and advise on treatment to prevent damage to the heart.

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