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Etiology of Pericarditis in a Prospective Cohort of 1162 Cases

      Abstract

      Background

      Pericarditis is a common disorder that is present in various pathologies and may be the first manifestation of an underlying systemic disease. The aims of this study were to describe the different causes of infectious and noninfectious pericarditis and compare them with those in the literature.

      Methods

      Between May 2007 and September 2012, we prospectively evaluated a strategy using a systematic prescription of tests for the different etiological causes of pericarditis in patients with acute pericarditis who were hospitalized in the Cardiology and Cardiac Surgery Department or admitted to the Emergency Department (University Hospital of Marseille). A total of 1162 patients with suspected pericarditis were included. A standardized diagnosis procedure was performed for 800 patients, and 362 had pericardiocentesis.

      Results

      Acute pericarditis was diagnosed in 933 patients. No diagnosis was established in 516 patients (55%), 197 patients suffered from postinjury syndromes, and 156 had previously known diseases that were associated with pericarditis. Our survey allowed us to relate the probable cause of pericarditis in 64 cases. An infectious etiological diagnosis was established in 53 cases. In our study, postinjury syndrome was the leading cause of pericarditis, a new diagnosis was made in 6.7% of cases, and 16% of the diagnoses were linked to a secondary, underlying disease.

      Conclusion

      Using this strategy, we were able to reduce the number of idiopathic cases. In many cases, the etiologies were still identified. Long-term follow-up in the management of idiopathic pericarditis should remain of great interest for the future diagnosis of other disorders that remain hidden.

      Keywords

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