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Arch Mal Coeur Vaiss. 2000 Dec;93(12):1511-4.

[Efficacy of colchicine in recurrent acute idiopathic pericarditis].

[Article in French]

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Service de médecine interne, CHU Pitié-Salpêtrière, 47-83, boulevard de l'Hôpital, 75651 Paris.


Acute idiopathic pericarditis is complicated by recurrence in 15 to 30% of cases. The preventive treatment of recurrences is not well codified. Aspirin, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and corticoids are the commonest prescribed treatments. The objective of this study was to assess the value of colchicine in the prevention of recurrences of acute idiopathic pericarditis. Twenty-eight cases of recurrent acute pericarditis (2 episodes, 1 month between each episode) admitted to a department of internal medicine between 1989 and 1999 were reviewed. Analysis was concentrated on the 13 idiopathic forms. The subjects were 7 women and 6 men with an average age of 41 years (10-62) at the time of the first episode of acute pericarditis. These 13 patients were treated with colchicine (1 to 2 mg/day) after failure of conventional treatment (aspirin 13/13, NSAID 13/13, steroids 9/13 and pericardiocentesis 3/13). Ten patients were followed up regularly (6 months after starting colchicine) and were improved with respect to number, duration and intensity of their recurrences. The average duration of colchicine therapy was 17 +/- 14 months (6-48). Progressive withdrawal of NSAID and steroids was obtained in 8/10 cases. The authors conclude that colchicine is useful in the prevention of recurrence of acute pericarditis. It may be proposed as treatment of choice, especially in the idiopathic forms.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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