In many cases, the cause of pericarditis (both acute and chronic) is unknown.
Viral infections are likely a common cause of pericarditis, although the virus may never be found. Pericarditis often occurs after respiratory infections. Bacterial, fungal, and other infections also can cause pericarditis.
Most cases of chronic, or recurring, pericarditis are thought to be the result of autoimmune disorders. Examples of such disorders include lupus, scleroderma, and rheumatoid arthritis.
With autoimmune disorders, the body's immune system makes antibodies (proteins) that mistakenly attack the body's tissues or cells.
Other possible causes of pericarditis are:
Clinical trials are research studies that explore whether a medical strategy, treatment, or device is safe and effective for humans.
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