Author | Larry Sikolsky, MD


Prompt diagnosis and therapy are keys to reducing mortality Extrapulmonary tuberculosis, part 5: Pericardial involvement key words: Tuberculosis, Pericarditis, Pericardial effusion

July 01, 2007

abstract: Tuberculous pericarditis, while relatively rare in the United States, is an important cause of pericardial disease in countries where tuberculosis is prevalent. Patients are most likely to present with chronic disease--effusive and/or constrictive. Those with effusive pericarditis often present with tamponade. Patients with constrictive pericarditis exhibit features of systemic and pulmonary venous congestion. An elevated level of adenosine deaminase in pericardial fluid is a good marker for tuberculosis. The presence of granulomas or case-ation necrosis in pericardial tissue confirms the diagnosis. If treatment of effusive tuberculous pericarditis is delayed, constrictive or effusive-constrictive disease usually develops, resulting in a high mortality risk. In addition to a standard antituberculosis regimen, treatment of tuberculous pericarditis may include adjuvant therapy with corticosteroids, pericardiocentesis, and/or pericardiectomy. (J Respir Dis. 2007;28(7):278-282)