What is the role of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) in the etiology of acute pericarditis?

Updated: Apr 02, 2019
  • Author: Sean Spangler, MD; Chief Editor: Terrence X O'Brien, MD, MS, FACC  more...
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Answer

Pericarditis occurs predominantly in males with severely destructive and nodular RA. The pericardial involvement is usually clinically silent, with the diagnosis made in only 2% of adults and 6% of juveniles with RA. Rarely, pericarditis precedes the onset of RA. Autopsy studies show a pericarditis prevalence of 11-50%.


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