Acute Pericarditis: Aetiologic Diagnosis and Practical Aspect of the Management

Curr Probl Cardiol. 2021 Apr;46(4):100769. doi: 10.1016/j.cpcardiol.2020.100769. Epub 2020 Dec 17.


Pericarditis is an uncommon pathology that represents 0.1% of patients hospitalized for chest pain with a wide etiological spectrum and whose cause is uncommonly highlighted. In order to determine the incidence of specific acute microbiological or autoimmune pericarditis and identify subsets of patients with a higher incidence of specific etiologies; and analyze the conformity of the management of acute pericarditis according to the recommendations, a retrospective inclusion of all patients admitted to our hospital from January 2010 to December 2018 with the diagnosis of acute pericarditis was conducted. Data concerning clinical, paraclinical and treatment items were collected. Ninety-nine patients were included. Specific etiologic exams were completely conducted in 63.6% of the patients. There was no link between the decision to conduct etiology exams and the age, gender, a history of acute pericarditis or relapse. There was a trend between an elevated CRP and the realization of the kit. There was a statistically significant link between the achievement of etiologic exams and the presence of severity criteria or the presence of a pericardial effusion. An etiology was found in 52.4%, more frequently microbiological (viral and Mycoplasma pneumoniae). Approximately 85.9% of all patients were hospitalized. Treatment was in accordance with the recommendations in 76.8%. Despite the percentage of microbiological etiologies found, it does not impact the therapeutic strategy. The criteria for hospitalization must be better suited since half of those hospitalized after the european society of cardiology (ESC) 2015 recommendations had no need to be. However, monitoring after discharge is not clearly defined by learned societies.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Cardiology
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Pericardial Effusion
  • Pericarditis* / diagnosis
  • Pericarditis* / etiology
  • Pericarditis* / therapy
  • Retrospective Studies