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Arch Inst Cardiol Mex. 1987 Jul-Aug;57(4):307-12.

[Acute nonspecific pericarditis].

[Article in Spanish]

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  • 1Instituto Nacional de Cardiología Ignacio Chávez, México, D.F.


In order to learn the natural history of nonspecific acute pericarditis in our environment, we studied retrospectively 50 patients seen at The Instituto Nacional de Cardiología Ignacio Chávez, between 1972-1985. The clinical history, electrocardiogram, chest x ray, laboratory findings, as well as the outpatient follow-up were analyzed. There was a history of a respiratory or gastrointestinal infection, probably viral in origin, in almost half of the cases (46%). Chest pain was present in 96% of the patients and was the most common symptom. In only half of the patients a pericardial friction rub was heard. A typical S-T elevation was found in 90% of the electrocardiograms. Arrhythmias and conduction disorders were unusual. The echocardiogram showed a pericardial effusion in seven patients and six had a pleural effusion. Only one patient developed signs of cardiac tamponade. None of the patients in this study developed a chronic constrictive pericarditis and there were no deaths. Before or after hospitalization, 14 patients (28%) had multiple episodes of chest pain suggestive of recurrent pericarditis. This study shows that nonspecific acute pericarditis seems to be a self-limited illness with a good prognosis, few recurrences and practically no complications.

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