Purulent Pericarditis Leading to Constriction

Akira Wada, Jason Craft, Ernest L. Mazzaferri


We report a case of a previously healthy 61-year-old immunocompetent male who was found to have purulent bacterial pericarditis. The patient was initially diagnosed with pneumococcal pneumonia and bacteremia after presenting with chest pain and a productive cough. He was found to have a purulent pericardial effusion and underwent surgical washout and creation of a pericardial window. In short time he developed signs of right heart failure and a cardiac MRI revealed a severely thickened pericardium with evidence of constrictive pericarditis. The patient subsequently underwent pericardiectomy where the diagnosis of constriction was confirmed. Our patient recovered well and had no clinical evidence of heart failure on follow-up. This case demonstrates the importance of rapid identification of bacterial pericarditis and the high likelihood of progression to constriction.

Cardiol Res. 2014;5(6):188-190
doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.14740/cr356w


Purulent pericarditis; Bacterial pericarditis; Constrictive pericarditis

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