Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Circulation. 1990 Oct;82(4):1117-20.

Recurrent pericarditis. Relief with colchicine.

Author information

  • 1Department of Cardiology, Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau, Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona, Spain.


Recurrence is one of the major complications of pericarditis. Treatment of recurrence is often difficult, and immunosuppressive drugs or surgery may be necessary. We conducted an open-label prospective study of nine patients (seven men and two women; age, 18-64 years; mean age, 41.7 +/- 13.7 years). Patients were treated with colchicine (1 mg/day) to prevent recurrences. All patients had suffered at least three relapses despite treatment with acetylsalicylic acid, indomethacin, prednisone, or a combination. Pericarditis was classified as idiopathic in five patients, postpericardiotomy in two, post-myocardial infarction in one, and associated with disseminated lupus erythematosus in one. For statistical analysis, we conducted a paired comparison design (Student's t test). All patients treated with colchicine responded favorably to therapy. Prednisone was discontinued in all patients after 2-6 weeks (mean, 26.33 +/- 10.9 days), and colchicine alone was continued. After a mean follow-up of 24.3 months (minimum, 10 months; maximum, 54 months), no recurrences were observed in any patient; there was a significant difference between the symptom-free periods before and after treatment with colchicine (p less than 0.002). Our study suggests that colchicine may be useful in avoiding recurrence of pericarditis, although these results need to be confirmed in a larger, double-blind study.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk