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Clin Infect Dis. 1995 Jul;21(1):182-7.

Purulent pericarditis caused by Candida species: case report and review.

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Department of Medicine, Dwight David Eisenhower Army Medical Center, Fort Gordon, Georgia 30905, USA.


Purulent pericarditis caused by Candida species is a rare and often undiagnosed disease. We recently treated a patient in whom purulent pericarditis due to Candida albicans developed following thoracic surgery. The patient survived after receiving a combination of surgical and medical therapy. A literature review revealed 24 additional cases of purulent pericarditis caused by Candida species. Twenty-one of the patients either had undergone thoracic surgery or had had disseminated candidiasis. None of the 12 patients described before 1980 survived, whereas six (46%) of the 13 patients described after 1980 survived. No patient survived without pericardiectomy (five of six survivors) or at least pericardiocentesis (one survivor). All survivors received full courses of amphotericin B therapy. An increased utilization of echocardiography, along with an increased recognition of the patient populations at risk, has been instrumental in early detection and improved outcome of purulent pericarditis. A combination of prolonged amphotericin B therapy and pericardiectomy appears to be the best approach for achieving a cure.

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