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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Rheumatoid pericarditis. Clinical significance and operative management.

The incidence of subclinical pericarditis associated with rheumatoid pericarditis may be as high as 50 percent, but significant impairment of cardiac performance owing to this type of pericarditis rarely occurs. In the past 7 years, we have encountered eight men with congestive heart failure owing to rheumatoid pericarditis. Cardiac catheterization and echocardiography were useful in establishing the diagnosis of pericardial constriction. Pericardiocentesis was unsuccessful in relieving symptoms in the three patients in whom the procedure was performed. Seven patients underwent pericardiectomy; six had constrictive pericarditis and one patient had an acute pericarditis with the sudden onset of cardiac tamponade. The other patient died of cardiac tamponade prior to operation. All patients improved after operation and have remained free of cardiac symptoms 3 months to 4 1/2 years later. The frequent occurrence of adhesive and obliterative pericarditis with loculated effusions suggests the need for pericardiectomy rather than pericardiocentesis in the patient with rheumatoid arthritis and symptomatic pericardial involvement. Immediate and lasting relief of this unusual nonarticular manifestation of rheumatoid arthritis can be expected after pericardiectomy.[1]


  1. Rheumatoid pericarditis. Clinical significance and operative management. Burney, D.P., Martin, C.E., Thomas, C.S., Fisher, R.D., Bender, H.W. J. Thorac. Cardiovasc. Surg. (1979) [Pubmed]
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