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Purulent Pericarditis in Children: Is Pericardiotomy Needed?

Megged, Orli MD*; Argaman, Zvi,†; Kleid, David

doi: 10.1097/PEC.0b013e31823b44af
Illustrative Cases

Objectives This study aimed to describe our experience with pediatric bacterial pericarditis and review the optimal therapy for this entity.

Methods This is a retrospective study in a pediatric intensive care unit in a university hospital. Three children were diagnosed with purulent pericarditis. They were all treated with antibiotics, echocardiography-guided pericardial fluid drainage, and placement of a pericardial catheter, with no need for thoracotomy or pericardial window.

Results All 3 children fully recovered, and none developed constrictive pericarditis.

Conclusions Children with purulent pericarditis usually can be treated with antibiotics and drainage of pericardial effusion, with no need for thoracotomy or pericardial window.

From the *Infectious Diseases Unit and †Pediatric Intensive Care Unit, Shaare Zedek Medical Center and Hadassah-Hebrew University Medical School, Jerusalem, Israel.

Disclosure: The authors have nothing to disclose.

Reprints: Orli Megged, MD, Infectious Diseases Unit, Shaare Zedek Medical Center, PO Box 3235, Jerusalem 91031, Israel (e-mail:

© 2011 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.