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11-10-2017, 12:28 PM   #1
Scipio
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Pericarditis?

I have been diagnosed with Crohn's for over 5 years now. This year I also came down with pericarditis - a severe inflammation of the pericardium, the membrane that surrounds the heart. This in turn induced constrictive heart failure. My heart itself was fine, but the inflamed and thickened membrane prevented the heart from filling with blood properly which led to reduced cardiac output and thus the heart failure.

This was cured by surgery to remove the inflamed pericardium which allowed the heart to beat freely again, and thus the heart failure cleared up.

Docs still don't know the cause of the pericarditis. So my question is has anyone had or heard of Crohn's attacking the pericardium as a site of extra-intestinal Crohn's?
11-10-2017, 02:34 PM   #2
Jabee
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A quick search (which I am sure you’ve already done) turned up quite a few articles and the link below is just to one. While it seems uncommon pericarditis does happen in crohn’s patients. Are you being written up at all? I would think your case would be worth other GIs reading. How long did it take to get diagnosed and what were your symptoms? I ask partly because I’ve been having some episodes of simultaneous chest and jaw pain that has me a bit puzzled. A recent ECG was normal.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/art...00109-0088.pdf

I also found this article which was very interesting and lists some other cases and studies in the notes

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/store...ax1vq&e995f8c1
11-10-2017, 04:25 PM   #3
Scipio
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Thanks for the links (for some reason I'm blocked from opening the second link).

My symptoms were symptoms of heart failure - shortness of breath, edema, general weakness, and a general feeling of being very sick. I did not notice any direct symptoms of inflammation in the heart area such as pain or tenderness. My ECGs were normal too. It wasn't until they did more advanced procedures via cardiac catheterization to assess the various detailed measures of heart output and efficiency that they pinpointed the problem.
11-10-2017, 05:05 PM   #4
Jabee
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I googled “crohn’s and pericarditis” and the second article was one of a number of interesting articles that popped up. I was already planning to check in with my GP about the chest and jaw pain (I’m thinking it might also be heartburn as I have severe GERD and take a PPI twice a day); I also have to see my GI so I’ll mention the “episodes” to her too. Shortness of breath feels awful. I’m glad you were able to get diagnosed and have surgery to correct the problem. Did your cardiologist think it might recur?
11-10-2017, 08:05 PM   #5
Scipio
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The pericarditis is not going to recur because I no longer have a pericardium. The successful treatment was surgery to remove it. Might get some other extra-intestinal manifestation though. Who knows?

And shortness of breath is indeed very distressing. I would lay awake at night feeling like I was being smothered. I could breathe in and out just fine, but I was still short of oxygen.
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