Heart-shaped Inflammation: What do you know about pericarditis?
by Staff
Like any surgery, dental procedures run a small risk of infection, which can settle in the pericardium: the thin, sac-like membrane that surrounds the heart. Could you identify the symptoms of pericarditis -- and how much do you know about its treatments?

The pericardium is a membrane that surrounds which vital organ?

  • the brain
  • the heart
  • the lungs

Which of the following is the most common symptom of acute pericarditis?

  • excessive gas
  • persistent headaches
  • sharp chest pain

How long does acute pericarditis typically last?

  • less than two weeks
  • less than a month
  • less than six months

How many layers does the pericardium consist of?

  • one
  • two
  • four

Generally speaking, how long does chronic pericarditis last?

  • at least six months
  • more than two years
  • more than five years

What is the term associated with dangerous levels of fluid in the pericardium?

  • pericardial flooding
  • pericardial gorging
  • pericardial effusion
  • all of the above

Which is the most common cause of pericarditis?

  • viral and bacterial infections
  • heart attack and kidney failure
  • unknown

Why has dental work been linked to pericarditis?

  • the risk of heart attack
  • the risk of infection
  • the risk of adverse reaction to anesthesia

What other dental issues can result in bacterial infection?

  • vigorous brushing
  • tooth loss
  • gum disease
  • all of the above

Which of the following is the primary risk demographic for pericarditis?

  • men over the age of 60
  • women between the ages of 20 and 60
  • men between the ages of 20 and 50

In addition to chest pain, what other symptoms can be attributed to pericarditis?

  • muscle aches
  • swelling of extremities
  • low-grade fever
  • all of the above

If you suspect your chest pain might be pericarditis, when should you contact your doctor?

  • immediately
  • between one and two weeks
  • after a couple of months

Until fairly recently, dentists premedicated patients with heart murmurs to prevent which of the following ailments?

  • endocarditis
  • pericarditis
  • myocarditis
  • all of the above

What specific factor gave rise to re-evaluating the practice of premedicating all heart murmur patients before dental work?

  • increased healthcare costs
  • the rise of resistant bacterial strains
  • increased liability insurance costs
  • none of the above

What dental patients continue to receive antibiotic medications prior to dental procedures?

  • those with an artificial heart valve
  • those with a history of endocarditis
  • either of the above

What is the overriding concern of dental work with relation to heart murmur patients?

  • bacterial infection of heart tissue
  • heartworm
  • heartache from a crooked smile

Which governing body was responsible for a new statement policy redefining the standard of care for premedication during dental procedures?

  • the dental community
  • the medical community
  • a joint effort between the dental and medical community
  • the U.S. Food & Drug Administration

Some heart attack patients suffer a delayed onset of pericarditis. What is this called?

  • belated pericarditis
  • Dresser's syndrome
  • pericardiac truancy

If treated immediately, what is the recovery rate for patients suffering from pericarditis?

  • the vast majority
  • roughly 50/50
  • less than 25 percent

If not treated quickly, the pericardium can lose its elasticity, resulting in what condition?

  • pericardiac rigidity
  • constrictive pericarditis
  • nonflexible carditis
  • none of the above