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Archivos de Pediatría del Uruguay

versão impressa ISSN 0004-0584versão On-line ISSN 1688-1249


CABO, Estefanía et al. Acute pericarditis in Pediatrics: Incidence and characteristics. Pereira Rossell Pediatric Hospital; 2001-2011. Arch. Pediatr. Urug. [online]. 2015, vol.86, n.4, pp.284-293. ISSN 0004-0584.

Introduction: pericarditis is the inflammation of the pericardium triggered by the action of various agents; it is a rare pediatric disease whose real incidence is unknown. Objective: to determine the incidence and characteristics of acute pericarditis in patients assisted at the Pereira Rossell Hospital Center. Methods: a retrospective study of cases between 2001 and 2011. Results: the incidence was 1.7 of 10,000 discharges. 80% of them occurred during a respiratory infection, being pneumonia the most frequent disease. 90% presented fever, tachycardia and tachypnea. Etiology: 9/19 purulent pericarditis; 3/19 idiopathic; immune mediated 3/19; 2/19 physical agent (postpericardiotomy) and 2/19 due to autoimmune disease. The causative agent of purulent pericarditis was identified in 5 of the 9 cases, being Streptococcus pneumoniae found in 3 patients. The echocardiogram confirmed the diagnosis in all cases. The cardio-thoracic index was increased in 17 of the 19 patients. Cardiac tamponade was the most frequent complication (7/19), five of which presented purulent pericarditis. There were no deaths. Discussion: purulent pericarditis was the most frequent etiology, being pneumococcal the main agent. Cardiac tamponade was a frequent complication, associated with the purulent etiology. Conclusion: acute pericarditis is a rare disease in children, which has nonspecific clinical symptoms and high risk of complications; therefore it requires a high level of clinical suspicion. Purulent pericarditis was the most frequent etiology below the age of 8 years, being Streptococcus pneumoniae the main isolated causative pathogen.


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