Management of tuberculous pericarditis

Ann Thorac Surg. 1987 Jun;43(6):653-5. doi: 10.1016/s0003-4975(10)60243-3.


The cases of 17 patients with tuberculous pericarditis were reviewed. Thirteen patients had effusive pericarditis, and 10 had surgical drainage of the effusion. No deaths were due to pericardial tamponade; this appears to be related to earlier recognition of major pericardial effusions by echocardiography. In 2 patients clinical evidence of pericardial constriction developed while they were on a regimen of therapy, and in another 2 patients, echocardiography revealed pericardial thickening after resolution of the effusion. A pericardial window is recommended for the short-term management of patients suspected of having tuberculous pericarditis with a major pericardial effusion by echocardiography. If a thickened pericardium is found during the window procedure, early pericardiectomy is strongly encouraged.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Antitubercular Agents / therapeutic use
  • Biopsy
  • Echocardiography
  • Electrocardiography
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Mycobacterium tuberculosis / isolation & purification
  • Pericardial Effusion / diagnosis
  • Pericardial Effusion / drug therapy
  • Pericardial Effusion / surgery
  • Pericarditis, Tuberculous / diagnosis*
  • Pericarditis, Tuberculous / drug therapy
  • Pericarditis, Tuberculous / surgery
  • Pericardium / pathology
  • Pericardium / surgery
  • Tuberculin Test
  • Tuberculosis, Cardiovascular / diagnosis*


  • Antitubercular Agents