Which factors adversely affect the prognosis of acute pericardial effusion?

Updated: Nov 28, 2018
  • Author: William J Strimel, DO, FACP; Chief Editor: Terrence X O'Brien, MD, MS, FACC  more...
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Answer

Most patients with acute pericarditis recover without sequelae. Predictors of a worse outcome include the following:

  • Fever greater than 38°C

  • Symptoms developing over several weeks in association with immunosuppressed state

  • Traumatic pericarditis

  • Pericarditis in a patient receiving oral anticoagulants

  • A large pericardial effusion (>20 mm echo-free space or evidence of tamponade)

  • Failure to respond to nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)


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