Acute Pericarditis: Diagnostic Cues and Common Electrocardiographic Manifestations

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Acute pericarditis (AP) is basically a clinical diagnosis. Although specific electrocardiographic (ECG) manifestations may indeed point to its diagnosis, sole reliance on such findings in isolation of the clinical setting, however, is often the common pitfall that could lead to a misguided diagnosis. We briefly review the anatomy of the pericardium and the pathophysiology of pericarditis to highlight common signs and symptoms as well as clinical findings that may assist in the diagnosis of AP. We also feature the characteristic evolution of its ECG manifestations and point out some of its typical and atypical features to help better differentiate AP from commonly confused conditions.

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