Papers And Originals

Cardiac Manifestations During a Coxsackie B5 Epidemic

Br Med J 1968; 3 doi: (Published 13 July 1968) Cite this as: Br Med J 1968;3:97
  1. M. Helin,
  2. J. Savola,
  3. Kaisa Lapinleimu


    During a widespread Coxsackie B5 epidemic which occurred in Finland in the autumn of 1965 18 patients with acute myopericarditis were admitted to Kuopio Central Hospital (530 beds, representing a hospital district with 270,000 inhabitants) within a period of three months.

    The mean age of these patients was 28 years. Twelve were males and six were females.

    In 12 cases Coxsackie B5 virus and in one case Coxsackie A9 virus were isolated from the faeces. A significant increase in neutralizing antibodies or high antibody titres (≥1:128) were noted in 16 cases against Coxsackie B5 and in one case against Coxsackie A9. In two cases the cause of the myopericarditis remained obscure.

    All the patients had fever. Six showed all classical criteria of pericarditis: chest pain, pericardial rub, E.C.G. changes, and radiologically observable enlargement of the heart. As regards the various criteria, E.C.G. changes were found in all cases. Signs of cardiac tamponade were observed in one patient. Five, in addition, showed aseptic meningitis.

    All the patients recovered. Twelve were re-examined at an average of seven months after discharge from hospital. All were symptom-free except one, who still showed E.C.G. changes.