Papers And Originals

Pericarditis after Acute Myocardial Infarction

Br Med J 1971; 2 doi: (Published 17 April 1971) Cite this as: Br Med J 1971;2:135
  1. U. Thadani,
  2. M. P. Chopra,
  3. Clive P. Aber,
  4. R. W. Portal


    Fifty-two (6·8%) of 779 patients admitted to a coronary monitoring unit with acute myocardial infarction developed a pericardial friction rub. A diagnosis of postmyocardial infarction syndrome was made in three of these.

    The course of the 52 patients with pericarditis was compared with that of a consecutive series of 100 patients without pericarditis. As a group those with pericarditis manifested a longer period of pyrexia, a greater rise in serum enzymes, and a higher incidence of major arrhythmias and of radiological pulmonary oedema. The Peel prognostic index, however, did not differ significantly in the two groups. The hospital mortality of the pericarditis group was not significantly different from that of the 727 non-pericarditis patients. No specially adverse features were found in a follow-up of the pericarditis group.

    Though the presence of a pericardial rub in the first few days after a myocardial infarction may be a sign of extensive myocardial damage and is associated with a relatively high incidence of ventricular fibrillation, it does not appear to influence the hospital mortality of patients treated in a monitoring unit.