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Monaldi Arch Chest Dis. 2010 Mar;73(1):44-50.

Tuberculous pericarditis: three cases and brief review.

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Pulmonary Medicine Department, Evaggelismos General Hospital, Athens, Greece.


Tuberculous pericarditis is a form of extrapulmonary tuberculosis that is considered unusual in western coun-tries. Diagnosis is often challenging, while proper treatment has a major impact on prognosis. We present three interesting cases, with complicated or unusual manifestations of tuberculous pericarditis: a patient with cardiac tamponade as the initial manifestation of tuberculosis; a patient progressing to constriction despite adequate treatment; and a patient receiving anti-TNFalpha, who developed pericarditis in the context of immune reconstitution inflammatory syndrome. We briefly review the clinical features of tuberculous pericarditis, whilst our main focus is on the available diagnostic techniques and treatment aspects. In conclusion, tuberculous pericarditis remains an active thread in the western world. A high index of suspicion combined with the use of all available diagnostic techniques are important to increase diagnostic yield. Prompt and effective treatment is essential to reduce morbidity and mortality.

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