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Clin Radiol. 1999 Oct;54(10):691-3.

Purulent pericarditis presenting as acute abdomen in children: abdominal imaging findings.

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Department of Radiology, Children's Hospital Medical Center, Cincinnati, Ohio 45229-3039, USA.


Purulent pericarditis is rapidly fatal if untreated [1,2]. With increased development of bacterial resistance to antibiotics, severe bacterial infections in children are becoming more frequent [3,4]. We report two children with purulent pericarditis who presented in a 1-month period for evaluation of acute abdominal distention and signs of sepsis. In both, one evaluated with computed tomography (CT) and one with ultrasound, abdominal findings included periportal edema, gallbladder wall thickening, and ascites secondary to right heart failure from cardiac tamponade. Radiologists should be aware that children with purulent pericarditis may have a normal heart size on radiographs, present with acute abdominal symptoms, and demonstrate findings of right sided heart failure on abdominal imaging.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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