Unifying Concepts

Diagnostic Criteria for Acute Pericarditis

Diagnostic criteria include the following:

  1. pericarditic typical chest pain,
  2. pericardial friction rubs,
  3. widespread ST segment elevation or PR depressions not previously reported, and
  4. new or worsening pericardial effusion.

A clinical diagnosis of acute pericarditis is made when at least 2 of these criteria are present.

A clinical diagnosis of myopericarditis is performed in patients with diagnostic criteria for acute pericarditis and 1 of the following features:

  1. evidence of elevated cardiac enzymes (creatine kinase-MB fraction, or troponin I or T) or

  2. new onset of focal or diffuse depressed left ventricular function by echocardiography.



  1. Troughton RW, Asher CR, Klein AL. Pericarditis. Lancet. 2004 Feb 28;363(9410):717-27 [Medline]

  2. Imazio M, Cecchi E, Demichelis B, Ierna S, Demarie D, Ghisio A, Pomari F, Coda L, Belli R, Trinchero R. Indicators of poor prognosis of acute pericarditis. Circulation. 2007 May 29;115(21):2739-44. [Medline]

  3. Lange RA, Hillis LD. Clinical practice. Acute pericarditis. N Engl J Med. 2004 Nov 18;351(21):2195-202. [Medline]


Created: Nov 21, 2007

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