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Clin Exp Rheumatol. 2013 Sep-Oct;31(5):776-8. Epub 2013 May 27.

Idiopathic recurrent pericarditis treated successfully with tumour necrosis factor alpha blocking agents (anti-TNF-α).

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  • 1Rheumatology Department, H.G.U.Gregorio Marañón, Madrid, Spain.


Idiopathic recurrent pericarditis (IRP) is defined by 2 or more episodes of acute pericarditis of unknown etiology. Either auto-immune or auto-inflammatory diseases are suspected. Usually, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, colchicine or low dose steroid treatments are effective, however, side effects and/or non-response patients are frequent. We report on three paediatric patients with IRP from our paediatric rheumatology unit. The patients were non-responders to standard therapy and were treated with tumour necrosis factor alpha blocking agents (anti-TNF-α) and showed significant improvement. In two patients, the treatment was tapered and then stopped following several years of therapy. Symptoms flared in the last patient when therapy was tapered more quickly. We conclude that anti-TNF-α can be useful in selected cases of IRP.

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