Incidence, clinical presentation, management, and outcome of acute pericarditis and myopericarditis

Eur Heart J Acute Cardiovasc Care. 2022 Feb 8;11(2):137-147. doi: 10.1093/ehjacc/zuab108.


Aims: Little is known about the epidemiology, clinical presentation, management, and outcome of acute pericarditis and myopericarditis.

Methods and results: The final diagnoses of acute pericarditis, myopericarditis, and non-ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction (NSTEMI) of patients presenting to seven emergency departments in Switzerland with acute chest pain were centrally adjudicated by two independent cardiologists using all information including serial measurements of high-sensitivity cardiac troponin T. The overall incidence of pericarditis and myopericarditis was estimated relative to the established incidence of NSTEMI. Current management and long-term outcome of both conditions were also assessed. Among 2533 chest pain patients, the incidence of pericarditis, myopericarditis, and NSTEMI were 1.9% (n = 48), 1.1% (n = 29), and 21.6% (n = 548), respectively. Accordingly, the estimated incidence of pericarditis and myopericarditis in Switzerland was 10.1 [95% confidence interval (95% CI) 9.3-10.9] and 6.1 (95% CI 5.6-6.7) cases per 100 000 population per year, respectively, vs. 115.0 (95% CI 112.3-117.6) cases per 100 000 population per year for NSTEMI. Pericarditis (85% male, median age 46 years) and myopericarditis (62% male, median age 56 years) had male predominance, and commonly (50% and 97%, respectively) resulted in hospitalization. No patient with pericarditis or myopericarditis died or had life-threatening arrhythmias within 30 days [incidence 0% (95% CI 0.0-4.8%)]. Compared with NSTEMI, the 2-year all-cause mortality adjusted hazard ratio of pericarditis and myopericarditis was 0.40 (95% CI 0.05-2.96), being 0.59 (95% CI 0.40-0.88) for non-cardiac causes of chest pain.

Conclusion: Pericarditis and myopericarditis are substantially less common than NSTEMI and have an excellent short- and long-term outcome.

Clinical trial registration:, number NCT00470587,

Keywords: Incidence; Myopericarditis; NSTEMI; Outcome; Presentation; Pericarditis.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Chest Pain / diagnosis
  • Chest Pain / epidemiology
  • Chest Pain / etiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Myocarditis* / diagnosis
  • Myocarditis* / epidemiology
  • Myocarditis* / therapy
  • Non-ST Elevated Myocardial Infarction*
  • Pericarditis* / diagnosis
  • Pericarditis* / epidemiology
  • Pericarditis* / therapy

Associated data