Pancarditis is the second most common complication of rheumatic heart disease, but is the most serious. It can cause shortness of breath, pleuritic chest pain, moderate chest discomfort, swelling, cough, or orthopnea. Pancarditis caused by rheumatic heart disease is characterized by myocarditis, endocarditis and pericarditis.
Myocarditis causes lesions called Aschoff bodies and causes inflammation of the heart muscle (myocardium). It can cause rapid heart beat, shortness of breath, irregular heart rhythm, or pulmonary edema.
Endocarditis is the inflammation of the lining of the heart chambers and the valves. It usually affects the mitral valve in women and the aortic valve in men. Rarely is the tricuspid or the pulmonary valve affected. Endocarditis can cause fever, chills, shortness of breath, persistent cough, blood in urine, weight loss, night sweats, and aching joints.
Pericarditis is inflammation of the pericardium, the sac-like covering around the heart. It can cause friction and pain in the chest. Other symptoms include dry cough, low grade fever, weakness and fatigue, and abdominal or leg swelling.