Pericarditis is inflammation of the pericardium, the thin layers of tissue that surround the heart. It is often the result of an infection and can cause chest pain, rapid heartbeat and difficulty breathing.

Your doctor may use imaging tests including computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to diagnose pericarditis. Treatment depends on the cause but can include medication to reduce pain and inflammation and antibiotics if you have an infection.