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Title: Infectious pericarditis: an experience spanning a decade
Author(s): F. Mookadam , S.E. Moustafa , Y. Sun , F.C. Wilson , S.S. Mohammed , S. Park , I.M. Tleyjeh , J.K. Oh , J. Tajik
Journal: Acta Cardiologica
Volume: 64    Issue: 3   Date: 2009   
Pages: 297-302
DOI: 10.2143/AC.64.3.2038013

Abstract :
Background — Although recent literature suggests a changing spectrum for infectious pericarditis (IP), this view has not been proven. In this report, we aim to review the features of IP in cases from a large tertiary centre.
Methods — A retrospective review of our institution’s database was conducted to identify cases with IP between January 1994 and December 2004. All pericardial biopsy tissue results from the same period were also reviewed.
Results — One hundred and thirty-eight cases were identified, of which 14 cases were identified by pathology. The mean age was 53 ± 18 years, and 74% were men. The most frequently identified causative organisms were Propionibacterium acnes (P. acnes), staphylococci and streptococci. A common predisposing factor was an immune-compromised state, followed by cardiac surgery. Fifty-five patients were treated with antibiotics (medical group) while 63 cases (surgical group) underwent surgical drainage (pericardial window) and/or pericardiectomy. In comparison to the medical group, the surgical group was more critically ill and immunocompromised (40% versus 24%, respectively). There were 52 late deaths during follow-up. Mortality in the medical group was 67% while in the surgical group it was 24% (P < 0.0001).
Conclusions — In contradistinction to the literature reports, the most prevalent organism for IP was P. acnes. Patients managed aggressively with both antibiotics and surgery, demonstrated lower mortality rates. Therefore, clinicians should maintain a high index of suspicion for IP so that timely and appropriate mortality-reducing strategies can be offered.

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