Pericardial tamponade in a patient with polymyalgia rheumatica

Clin Exp Rheumatol. 2009 Jan-Feb;27(1 Suppl 52):S83-5.


We report a patient who developed pericarditis and pericardial tamponade coinciding with polymyalgia rheumatica onset. Our patient did not show any clinical sign of vasculitis; temporal artery biopsies were negative for giant cell arteritis. Pericardial biopsy in our case shows inflammatory perivascular lymphocytary infiltrates thus we believe pericardial effusion has an inflammatory-immunologic origin. Cardiac manifestations are exceptional in polymyalgia rheumatica, though it should be considered in the differential diagnosis in patients with pericarditis over 50 years. The recognition of this uncommon manifestation is very important due to the good response to corticosteroid treatment.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / therapeutic use
  • Biopsy
  • Cardiac Tamponade / complications*
  • Cardiac Tamponade / drug therapy
  • Cardiac Tamponade / pathology
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Electrocardiography
  • Female
  • Giant Cell Arteritis / diagnosis
  • Humans
  • Pericarditis / complications*
  • Pericarditis / drug therapy
  • Pericarditis / pathology
  • Polymyalgia Rheumatica / complications*
  • Polymyalgia Rheumatica / drug therapy
  • Polymyalgia Rheumatica / pathology
  • Prednisone / therapeutic use
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents
  • Prednisone