AF Association
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Is there any way of knowing whether someone has AF from Pericarditis? My husband and my sister, who we see quite often, both had AF for the first time within a few weeks of each other. Both had colds at the time.

We asked the cardiologist, but he said he wasn't interested in causes, he was there to treat the symptoms So my question remained unanswered.

does anyone know?

7 Replies

Nothing is impossible. Lung infections and some forms of cancer can start AF . Pericarditis is not something that normally comes from colds and frankly the patient would probably be in hospital if they did have it.


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Thanks Bob. It just seems an odd co-incidence. Maybe virus related, but not pericarditis.


As Bob says often, you need the basic tendency for AF before you'll have it, but if you have that there are lots of things that can trigger it. I've never heard of a cold doing it, and colds are quite common so it might just be coincidence. But anything is possible, I'm sure.



My sister had an ECG at her GP's practice yesterday and she asked the nurse the same question. Interestingly, the nurse said that a bad dose of flu can elevate the temperature and in some susceptible people it can trigger AF. She said flu can affect the heart and they'd seen a lot more cases of AF this winter. The nurse then had a bit of a rant about this winter's flu vaccine not working.

Anyway, whatever.......I guess the cause isn't all that important.

Thanks for replying Lis


Hi,My understanding of The Pericardium is the soft fibrous tissues that surrounds the Heart and its purpose being to protect the Heart from adhering to the rib cage ....I have not heard that Pericarditis has been a cause for AF just maybe the other way round.



I had a pericardial effusion noted when I had my first big PAF and that followed a cold/virus but I do not know what came first and I was in hospital for a few days. I did hear though that a local schoolboy had pericarditis after a virus at about the same time and he died suddenly so I counted myself very lucky!


Thankyou Carol and Buffafly. I think that in both my husband and my sister, AF was triggered by the same virus, as their initial symptoms were identical, but as neither of them had chest pain it's unlikely to have been pericarditis.

Or maybe it was just one of those odd coincidences.


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