Pericarditis resident survival guide

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Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1]; Associate Editor(s)-in-Chief: Mugilan Poongkunran M.B.B.S [2]

Pericarditis Resident Survival Guide Microchapters
Overview
Causes
FIRE
Complete Diagnostic Approach
Treatment
Acute Pericarditis
Recurrent Pericarditis
Etiology Specific
Do's
Don'ts

Overview

Pericarditis is the inflammation of the fibroelastic sac surrounding the heart (pericardium). Pericarditis is classified either as either acute (<6 weeks), subacute (6 weeks to 6 months) or chronic (>6 months) in duration and it can be further classified as either dry, fibrinous or effusive. Myopericarditis, or perimyocarditis refers to acute pericarditis associated with myocardial inflammation that leads to global or regional myocardial dysfunction and elevation in the concentration of troponins, creatine kinase MB, myoglobin and tumour necrosis factor.[1] Pericarditis should be suspected in the presence of pleuritic chest pain that is positional along with a pericardial friction rub. NSAIDs are the mainstay of the treatment of acute pericarditis; ibuprofen is administered most often.[2]

Causes

Life Threatening Causes

Life-threatening causes include conditions which may result in death or permanent disability within 24 hours if left untreated.

Common Causes

Click here for the complete list of causes.

FIRE: Focused Initial Rapid Evaluation

A Focused Initial Rapid Evaluation (FIRE) should be performed to identify patients in need of immediate intervention.[2]

Boxes in red color signify that an urgent management is needed.

Abbreviations: ECG: electrocardiogram

 
 
 
 
 
Identify cardinal findings that increase the pretest probability of acute pericarditis

❑ Characteristic chest pain

❑ Sharp and pleuritic that is improved by sitting up and leaning forward

Pericardial friction rub

❑ High pitched, scratchy sound at the left sternal border best heard with the diaphragm of the stethoscope
❑ Heard during atrial systole, ventricular systole and rapid ventricular filling in early diastole

❑ Suggestive ECG changes

❑ Diffuse ST elevation with reciprocal ST depression in leads aVR and V1
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Does the patient have the following clinical findings suggestive of cardiac tamponade?

Sinus tachycardia
Hypotension
Jugular vein distention
Muffled heart sounds

Pulsus paradoxus
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Yes
 
No
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

❑ Order (urgent):

Chest X-ray
2-D and Doppler echocardiography

❑ Immediately transfer the patient to ICU

❑ Monitor telemetry and check vitals frequently
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Indications for pericardiocentesis:

❑ Findings suggestive of unstable cardiac tamponade:

❑ Collapse of the cardiac chamber
❑ Respiratory variation in chamber size
❑ Respiratory variation in transvalvular velocities
❑ Dilated IVC and hepatic veins
❑ Click here for cardiac tamponade resident survival guide

❑ Effusions > 20 mm in echocardiography in diastole
❑ High suspicion of purulent or neoplastic pericarditis

❑ Large symptomatic effusion despite medical treatment for > 1 week
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Does the patient have any absolute contraindication for pericardiocentesis:

Aortic dissection
❑ Distorted anatomy due to prior surgery or radiation therapy

❑ Inaccessibility of the heart by percutaneous drainage
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
No
 
Yes
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Perform pericardiocentesis:

❑ Subxiphoid approach (most preferred)
❑ Avoid the subcostal approach if coagulopathy is present to prevent life-threatening hepatic injury
❑ Drain fluid < 1 L at a time (to prevent sudden decompression syndrome)
❑ Relative contraindications:

❑ Uncorrected coagulopathy
❑ Anticoagulant therapy
❑ Thrombocytopenia < 50,000/mm³
❑ Small (< 1cm in echo), posterior and loculated effusion
❑ Severe pulmonary hypertension

❑ Discontinue anticoagulation drugs and initiate FFP if there is high INR
Myocardial rupture: Rescue pericardiocentesis may be done before surgical drainage

❑ Perform pericardiocentesis in the operating room before surgery, when surgical drainage is indicated but the patient has severe hypotension prohibiting the induction of anesthesia [5]
 
Perform surgical drainage:

❑ Also more appropriate for:

Myocardial rupture
❑ Acute traumatic hemopericardium
❑ Purulent pericarditis
❑ Reaccumulation after pericardiocentesis
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Complete Diagnostic Approach to Acute Pericarditis

A complete diagnostic approach should be carried out after a focused initial rapid evaluation is conducted and following initiation of any urgent intervention.[2][6][4]

Abbreviations: TDS: three times a day; QID: four times a day; wk: week

 
 
 
 
 
 
Characterize the symptoms:

Chest pain

❑ Sudden onset
❑ Sharp or dull, aching and pressure like
❑ Pleuritic (exacerbated by inspiration and coughing)
❑ Retrosternal
❑ Located in the trapezius muscle ridge
❑ Radiation to the neck or the arms
❑ Affected by position (improved by sitting up and leaning forward)
❑ No pain (uremia and tuberculosis pericarditis develop slowly)

Symptoms associated with pericardial effusion:
❑ Without a hemodynamically significant pericardial effusion

❑ No specific symptoms

❑ With a hemodynamically significant pericardial effusion

Fatigue
Breathlessness
Orthopnea
Dizziness
Hoarseness (recurrent laryngeal nerve compression)
Hiccups (phrenic nerve compression)
Abdominal pain (mesenteric ischemia)
Nausea (diaphragm irritation)
Loss of consciousness
Cool extremities
Peripheral cyanosis
Peripheral edema

Other etiology associated symptoms:
Fever (suggestive of infectious etiology)
Cough (suggestive of infectious etiology)
Palpitations
Malaise
Joint pains (suggestive of autoimmune etiology)
Odynophagia

Weight loss (suggestive of malignant etiology)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Obtain a detailed history:

❑ Infections

Pneumonia
Tuberculosis
HIV
❑ Travel history
❑ Travel to Central or South America (Chagas disease)
❑ Travel to Central Asia or South Africa or South America (Tuberculosis)[7]
❑ Travel to North and Central America, such as Ohio and Mississippi River valleys (Histoplasmosis)
❑ Travel to North America (Blastomycosis)

Medications

5-Fluorouracil
Amiodarone
Anticoagulants
Cyclosporine
Cyclophosphamide
Cytarabine
Daunorubicin
Doxorubicin
Drug-induced lupus erythematosus
Methysergide
Penicillins
Sulfa drugs
Thiazides
Thrombolytic agents

❑ Systemic illness

Collagen vascular disease
Hypothyroidism
Inflammatory bowel disease
Malignancy
Uremia

❑ Others

Cardiac surgery
Radiation exposure
Dressler's syndrome
Postpericardiotomy syndrome
Trauma history
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Examine the patient:

Vital signs
Pulse

Tachycardia (typical)
Bradycardia (in hypothyroidism and uremia)
Pulsus paradoxus (in cardiac tamponade)

Blood pressure

❑ Normal (typical)
Hypotension (in cardiac tamponade)

Temperature

Fever less than 39°C or 102.2°F
Hypothermic (in elderly and renal failure)

Respiratory rate

Tachypnea (typical)

Cardiovascular system

Auscultation
❑ Heart sounds

❑ Normal (typical)
❑ New S3 heart sound
❑ Distant and muffled (in cardiac tamponade)

Murmur (in concomitant heart disease)
Pericardial friction rub

❑ High pitched, scratchy or squeaky sound
❑ Best heard at the left sternal border
❑ Best heard with the diaphragm of the stethoscope
❑ Varies in intensity overtime and needs repeated examinations

Palpation
Jugular venous pulse

❑ Elevated (in cardiac tamponade and constrictive pericarditis)
Kussmaul sign (in constrictive pericarditis)

Percussion
❑ Cardiac dullness beyond the apical point of maximal impulse (in pericardial effusion)

Respiratory system

Wheeze or rales
Pleural effusion

Abdomen

❑ Pulsatile hepatomegaly (in constrictive pericarditis)

Ascites
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Order tests (Urgent):

Order laboratory tests (urgent):
CBC (leucocytosis)
ESR (elevated)
C reactive protein (elevated)
Serum cardiac troponin I and T
Creatine kinase (CK-MB)
Serum myoglobin
Serum tumour necrosis factor
Serum urea and creatinine


Order electrocardiogram (urgent):

Typical findings in pericarditis

ST segment elevation in leads I, II, aVL, aVF, and V3-V6
PR segment depression
Low QRS voltage (in large pericardial effusion and constrictive pericarditis)
ST elevation in leads I, II, V2, V3, V4, V5, and V6 depicting acute pericarditis

Electrical alternans (in cardiac tamponade)


Order imaging (urgent):

Chest X-ray

❑ Clear lung fields (typical)
❑ A flask-shaped, enlarged cardiac silhouette (in pericardial effusion and cardiac tamponade)
❑ Lateral view may reveal
❑ Thickened pericardial line (in pericarditis, pericardial effusion)
❑ Irregular contours of cardiac silhouette (in chronic pericarditis, pericardial fibrosis, post surgery, metastasis)
Pericardial effusion


Echocardiography (diagnostic test of choice)

Typical findings in pericarditis
❑ Presence of moderate and large pericardial effusion
❑ Right atrial collapse
❑ Diastolic collapse of right ventricle and left atrium (specific for cardiac tamponade)
❑ Check for concomitant heart disease or paracardial pathology
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Does the patient have at least two of the following criteria for the diagnosis of acute pericarditis?

❑ Characteristic chest pain

❑ Sharp and pleuritic that is improved by sitting up and leaning forward

Pericardial friction rub

❑ High pitched, scratchy sound at the left sternal border best heard with the diaphragm of the stethoscope
❑ Heard during atrial systole, ventricular systole and rapid ventricular filling in early diastole

❑ Suggestive ECG changes

❑ Diffuse ST elevation with reciprocal ST depression in leads aVR and V1

❑ Suggestive echocardiography changes

❑ New or worsening pericardial effusion
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Yes
 
 
 
 
 
No
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Does the patient have any sign of myocarditis?
❑ Elevated cardiac enzymes, or
❑ Global or regional myocardial dysfunction on echocardiography
 
 
 
 
 
Does the patient have any signs suspicious of acute pericarditis?

❑ Ongoing fever
❑ Poor response to treatment

❑ Hemodynamic compromise
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
No
 
Yes
 
No
 
Yes
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Acute pericarditis
 
Myopericarditis
 
Consider alternative diagnosis and treat accordingly
 
Consider cardiac MRI (CMR)[8]
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Treat as acute pericarditis or myopericarditis if there is delayed enhancement on CMR

Treatment

Treatment of Acute Pericarditis

Shown below is an algorithm summarizing the management of acute pericarditis in adults.[2][6][4]

Abbreviations: CRP: C-reactive protein; MI: Myocardial infarction

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Does the patient have any of the following high risk features?

Fever >38°C
Leucocytosis
❑ Subacute presentation
Cardiac tamponade
❑ Large pericardial effusion
❑ Elevated troponins (myopericarditis)
❑ Concurrent oral anticoagulation
❑ Lack of response to aspirin or NSAIDs after at least 1 wk of therapy
Immunosuppressed state
❑ Acute trauma

❑ Relapsing pericarditis
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Yes
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
No
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Inpatient treatment
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Outpatient treatment
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Stable post MI patient
 
Stable patient without prior MI
 
Post MI
 
No previous MI
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Treat cardiac tamponade

❑ Click here for cardiac tamponade resident survival guide

❑ Immediately transfer the patient to ICU
❑ Monitor telemetry and check vitals frequently
❑ Perform pericardiocentesis or surgical drainage

Initiate medical therapy
Administer NSAIDs
Avoid NSAIDs in post-MI pericarditis
Ibuprofen (first line)

❑ Orally 300-800 mg TID or QID x 1-2 weeks
❑ Taper gradually every 2-3 days,
OR

Indomethacin

❑ Orally 50 mg TID x 1-2 weeks
❑ Taper gradually every 2-3 days for Rx period of 3-4 weeks


OR

Administer aspirin
❑ Drug of choice in post-MI pericarditis patients
High-dose aspirin:

❑ Orally 800 mg TID or QID x 7-10 days
❑ Taper gradually by 800 mg/week for 3 additional weeks

❑ Stop anticoagulants if patient develops pericardial effusion


AND/OR

Administer colchicine
❑ Combination with NSAIDs (better response rate)[9]
❑ Can be used alone
❑ Orally 0.5 mg BID x 3 months (>70 kg)
❑ Orally 0.5 mg OD x 3 months (≤70 kg)


Administer gastroprotective agents
Misoprostol (600 to 800 mg/day)
OR
Omeprazole (20 mg/day)


Avoid steroids
❑ Avoid steroids to treat an initial episode of pericarditis


Order tests to identify the specific etiology
Order specific tests based on the clinical suspicion
Treat according to the etiology


Educate about life style modification
❑ In case of pericarditis, avoid strenuous physical activity until symptoms resolve
❑ In case of myopericarditis, avoid competitive sports for six months and/or until normalization of lab findings

 
Initiate medical therapy

Administer High-dose aspirin

❑ Orally 800 mg TID or QID x 7-10 days
❑ Taper gradually by 800 mg/week for 3 additional weeks


AND/OR

Administer Colchicine
❑ In case of poor response to aspirin [9]
❑ Orally 0.5 mg BID x 3 months (>70 kg)
❑ Orally 0.5 mg OD x 3 months (≤70 kg)

Administer gastroprotective agents

Misoprostol (600 to 800 mg/day)
OR
Omeprazole (20 mg/day)

Avoid NSAIDs (ibuprofen)
❑ Increase the risk of reinfarction
❑ Adversely impact left ventricular remodeling
❑ Block the effectiveness of aspirin

Avoid steroids
❑ Avoid steroids to treat an initial episode of pericarditis

❑ Stop anticoagulants if the patient develops pericardial effusion


Order tests to identify the specific etiology
Order specific tests based on the clinical suspicion
Treat according to the etiology


Educate about life style modification
❑ In case of pericarditis, avoid strenuous physical activity until symptoms resolve

❑ In case of myopericarditis, avoid competitive sports for six months and/or until normalization of lab findings
 
Initiate medical therapy

Administer NSAIDs (First line)
Ibuprofen (first line)

❑ Orally 300-800 mg TID or QID x 1-2 weeks
❑ Taper gradually every 2-3 days, OR

Indomethacin

❑ Orally 50 mg TID x 1-2 weeks
❑ Taper gradually every 2-3 days for Rx period of 3-4 weeks


AND/OR

Administer Colchicine
❑ Combination with NSAIDs (better response rate)[9]
❑ Can be used alone
❑ Orally 0.5 mg BID x 3 months (>70 kg)
❑ Orally 0.5 mg OD x 3 months (≤70 kg)


Administer gastroprotective agents
Misoprostol (600 to 800 mg/day)
OR
Omeprazole (20 mg/day)


Avoid steroids
❑ Avoid steroids in an initial episode of pericarditis


Order tests to identify the specific etiology
Order specific tests based on the clinical suspicion
Treat according to the etiology


Order pericardiocentesis in case of
❑ High suspicion of purulent or neoplastic pericarditis
❑ Effusions > 20 mm in echocardiography in diastole
❑ Large or symptomatic effusions despite one week of medical therapy


Educate about life style modification
❑ In case of pericarditis, avoid strenuous physical activity until symptoms resolve
❑ In case of myopericarditis, avoid competitive sports for six months and/or until normalization of lab findings

 
Initiate medical therapy

Administer High-dose aspirin

❑ Orally 800 mg TID or QID x 7-10 days
❑ Taper gradually by 800 mg/week for 3 additional weeks


AND/OR

Administer Colchicine
❑ In case of poor response to aspirin [9]
❑ Orally 0.5 mg BID x 3 months (>70 kg)
❑ Orally 0.5 mg OD x 3 months (≤70 kg)

Administer gastroprotective agents

Misoprostol (600 to 800 mg/day)
OR
Omeprazole (20 mg/day)

Avoid NSAIDs (ibuprofen)
❑ May increase the risk of reinfarction
❑ May negatively impact left ventricular remodeling
❑ Associated with decreased effectiveness of aspirin

Avoid steroids
❑ Avoid steroids to treat an initial episode of pericarditis

❑ Stop anticoagulants if the patient develops pericardial effusion


Order tests to identify the specific etiology
Order specific tests based on the clinical suspicion
Treat according to the etiology


Educate about life style modification
❑ In case of pericarditis, avoid strenuous physical activity until symptoms resolve
❑ In case of myopericarditis, avoid competitive sports for six months and/or until normalization of lab findings

 
Initiate medical therapy

Administer NSAID's
Ibuprofen

❑ Preferred
❑ Orally 300-800 mg TID or QID x 1-2 weeks
❑ Taper gradually every 2-3 days,
OR

Indomethacin

❑ Orally 50 mg TID x 1-2 weeks
❑ Taper gradually every 2-3 days for Rx period of 3-4 weeks


AND/OR

Colchicine
❑ Combination with NSAIDs (better response rate)[9]
❑ Can be used alone
❑ Orally 0.5 mg BID x 3 months (>70 kg)
❑ Orally 0.5 mg OD x 3 months (≤70 kg)

Administer gastroprotective agents

Misoprostol (600 to 800 mg/day)
OR
Omeprazole (20 mg/day)

Avoid steroids
❑ Avoid steroids to treat an initial episode of pericarditis


Educate about life style modification
❑ In case of pericarditis, avoid strenuous physical activity until symptoms resolve

❑ In case of myopericarditis, avoid competitive sports for six months and/or until normalization of lab findings
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Assess response to treatment
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Response
 
No response
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Follow up as outpatient:

❑ Monitor for recurrences or constriction
❑ Assess at 7 to 10 days for treatment response
❑ Check blood tests and CRP at one month
❑ Assess the patient thereafter only if symptoms recur

 
Admit to the hospital:

❑ Failure to respond to the initial therapy is an indication that the underlying cause may not be viral or idiopathic in nature.

Order specific tests to identify the etiology and treat accordingly

Treatment of Recurrent Pericarditis

Shown below is an algorithm summarizing the management of recurrent pericarditis in adults. Recurrent pericarditis can be classified into either incessant type (relapse of pericarditis following discontinuation of the anti-inflammatory medication) or intermittent type (relapse episode with symptom free interval without medical therapy).[2][6][4]

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Recurrent pericarditis
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Characterize the clinical, EKG and imaging findings

❑ Characteristic acute pericarditis symptoms
❑ Characteristic acute pericarditis EKG changes
❑ Characteristic acute pericarditis echocardiography changes
❑ Massive pericardial effusion, cardiac tamponade, and pericardial constriction are rare
Determine predisposing factors
❑ Insufficient dose or/and insufficient treatment duration in an autoimmune pericardial disease
Corticosteroid treatment during the first episode

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Initiate medical therapy

NSAIDs
Avoid in post-MI pericarditis patients
Ibuprofen (first line)

❑ Orally 300-800 mg TID or QID x 1-2 weeks
❑ Taper gradually every 2-3 days
OR

Indomethacin

❑ Orally 50 mg TID x 1-2 weeks
❑ Taper gradually every 2-3 days for Rx period of 3-4 weeks


OR

Aspirin
❑ Drug of choice in post-MI pericarditis patients
High-dose aspirin:

❑ Orally 800 mg TID or QID x 7-10 days
❑ Taper gradually by 800 mg/week for 3 additional weeks

❑ Stop anticoagulants if patient develops pericardial effusion


AND/OR

Colchicine:
❑ Effective in cases where NSAIDs failed to prevent relapses
❑ Combination with NSAIDs (better response rate)[9]
❑ Can be used alone
❑ Orally 0.5 mg BID x 3 months (>70 kg)
❑ Orally 0.5 mg OD x 3 months (≤70 kg)

Add gastroprotective agents:
Misoprostol (600 to 800 mg/day)
OR
Omeprazole (20 mg/day)


Life style modification

❑ Exercise restriction until symptom resolution

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Multiple relapses
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Add corticosteroids

Prednisone: 1-1.5 mg/kg x 1 month

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Positive response
 
No response
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Taper steroids

❑ Taper dose over a three-month period
❑ If symptoms recur

❑ Start the last dose that suppressed the symptoms
❑ Maintain the dose for 2-3 weeks and then taper

❑ Add colchicine or NSAIDs at the end of the steroid taper

 

❑ Add azathioprine (75–100 mg/day) or cyclophosphamide

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Treatment failure
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Pericardiectomy

❑ Maintain the patient on a steroid free regimen for several weeks before the procedure

Order tests to identify the specific etiology and treat accordingly
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Etiology Specific Management

Clinical subgroups Specific investigations Treatment
Viral pericarditis ❑ Test for viral etiologies in immunocompromised and HIV infected patients not responding to intial management
❑ Diagnostic pericardiocentesis
    ❑ Analysis of pericardial fluid (transudate or exudate)
    ❑ PCR or in-situ hybridisation
CMV pericarditis: Hyperimmunoglobulin OD 4 ml/kg on day 0, 4,and 8; 2 ml/kg on day 12 and 16
Coxsackie B pericarditis: Interferon alpha or beta 2,5 Mio. IU/m2 surface area s.c. 3 x per week
Adenovirus and parvovirus B19 perimyocarditis: Immunoglobulin 10 g IV at day 1 and 3 for 6-8 hours
Purulent pericarditis ❑ Diagnostic pericardiocentesis in cases of high clinical suspicion
    ❑ Gram stain, acid fast stain, fungal stain, and cultures of the pericardial fluid
    ❑ Protein, glucose and cell count of the pericardial fluid
Gram stain, acid fast stain, fungal stain, and cultures of other body fluids
❑ Therapeutic pericardiocentesis or pericardial window
Pericardiectomy may be used in treatment of recurrent pericardial effusion and in patients with dense adhesions, loculated and thick purulent effusion
Antimicrobial therapy in case of bacterial etiology
    ❑ Antistaphylococcal antibiotic plus aminoglycoside, followed by tailored antibiotic therapy according to pericardial fluid and blood cultures
    ❑ Empiric regimen can be started for the following
        ❑ Immunosuppression
        ❑ Concurrent infection at another body site
        ❑ Presence of intravascular lines or prosthetic devices
        ❑ Recent antimicrobial therapy
Antifungal therapy in case of fungal etiology
Tuberculous pericarditis ❑ Diagnostic pericardiocentesis in all suspected tuberculous pericarditis patients
    ❑ PCR of pericardial fluid
    ❑ High adenosine deaminase activity and interferon gamma concentration in pericardial effusion
❑ Pericardial biopsy (rapid diagnosis)
Tuberculin skin test (not helpful)
CT scan and/or MRI of the chest
❑ Culture of sputum, gastric aspirate, and/or urine
❑ Enzyme-linked immunospot (ELISPOT)
❑ Serum titres of antimyolemmal and antimyosin antibodies
Anti-tuberculosis chemotherapy
    ❑ Emperic therapy in TB endemic areas and in cases with high clinical suspicion
Pericardiectomy is warranted in the setting of persistent constrictive pericarditis or when no general improvement after 4-8 weeks following antituberculosis chemotherapy
Prednisone can be used
Neoplastic pericarditis CT scan and/or MRI of the chest
❑ Diagnostic pericardiocentesis when other tests couldnt identify malignancy
❑ Cytology and tumour markers
❑ Pericardial biopsy
❑ Systemic antineoplastic treatment
❑ Assess the life expectancy of the patients before proceeding with the treatment
    ❑ Better prognosis patients should be treated more aggressively
    ❑ Advanced malignancy should be treated palliatively with pericardiocentesis
❑ Recurrence of pericardial effusion is prevented using any of the following techniques
    ❑ Prolonged pericardiocentesis
    ❑ Pericardial sclerosis
    ❑ Pericardiotomy
    ❑ Intrapericardial chemotherapy
Pericarditis in renal failure ❑ Renal function test
❑ Diagnostic pericardiocentesis
❑ Pericardial biopsy
❑ Uremic pericarditis
    ❑ Hemodialysis or peritoneal dialysis
    ❑ Heparin-free haemodialysis should be used
❑ Dialysis-associated pericarditis
    ❑ Pericardiocentesis for large effusion
    ❑ Pericardiotomy in non resolving effusion
Pericarditis in systemic autoimmune disease ❑ Diagnostic pericardiocentesis
    ❑ Elevated lymphocytes and mononuclear cells > 5000/mm3
    ❑ Antisarcolemmal antibodies
❑ Exclusion of viral and bacterial etiologies
NSAIDs or aspirin or colchicine
❑ Systemic corticosteroid can be used
    ❑ Intrapericardial steroids has less side effects and is highly effective

Do's

Don'ts

  • Avoid pericardiocentesis in cases where the diagnosis can be made based on systemic features or when the effusions are very small or resolving with anti-inflammatory treatment.

References

  1. Imazio M (2012). "Contemporary management of pericardial diseases". Curr Opin Cardiol. 27 (3): 308–17. doi:10.1097/HCO.0b013e3283524fbe. PMID 22450720.
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