The EM Educator Series: Pericarditis

Author: Alex Koyfman, MD (@EMHighAK) // Reviewed by: Brit Long, MD (@long_brit) and Manpreet Singh, MD (@MprizzleER)

Welcome back to the EM Educator Series. These posts provide brief mini-cases followed by key questions to consider while working. The featured questions provide important learning points for those working with you, as well as vital items to consider in the evaluation and management of the specific condition discussed.

This week has another downloadable PDF document with questions, links and answers you can share with learners as educators in #MedEd. Please message us over Twitter and let us know if you have any feedback on ways to improve this for you. Enjoy!

Case 1:

A 25-year-old male presents with chest pain that worsens when lying down and improves with sitting forward.  He just recovered from an upper respiratory infection one week ago.

Case 2:

EMS activates a “CODE STEMI” from the field for a 30-year-old female with diffuse ST elevations and chest pain, which is unrelieved by nitroglycerin.



  • What are the causes of pericarditis?
  • How can pericarditis present?
  • What is the differential of ST elevation on the ECG?
  • What is the differential for low voltage on the ECG?
  • What should be included in the ED evaluation of pericarditis, and what are important considerations?


From Dr. Katy Hanson at Hanson’s Anatomy:

Suggested Resources:

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