What Does It Mean When You Have Fluid Around the Heart?

According to WebMD, fluid around the heart can indicate pericardial effusion, which is also known as pericarditis. Fluid fills the sac surrounding the heart, the pericardium, and causes symptoms including fever, fatigue and shortness of breath. Viral infections are the leading cause of pericarditis, but there are other, less-common causes that patients can suffer from.