How is acute pericarditis distinguished from myocardial infarction (MI)?

Updated: Apr 02, 2019
  • Author: Sean Spangler, MD; Chief Editor: Terrence X O'Brien, MD, MS, FACC  more...
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Answer

Aside from clues elicited from the history and physical examination, pericarditis can be difficult to distinguish from myocardial infarction (MI) and repolarization in patients who present with chest pain and ST-segment elevation on electrocardiograms (ECGs). The potential misdiagnosis of pericarditis for acute MI has led to unfortunate complications when thrombolytic therapy has been given.


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