What is the role of antibiotics in the treatment of tuberculous 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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The initial treatment of tuberculous pericarditis should include isoniazid 300 mg daily, rifampin 600 mg daily, pyrazinamide 15-30 mg/kg daily, and ethambutol 15-25 mg/kg daily. Prednisone 1-2 mg/kg daily is given for 5-7 days and progressively reduced to discontinuation in 6-8 weeks. Drug sensitivity testing is essential. Uncertainty remains whether adjunctive corticosteroids are effective in reducing mortality or progression to constriction.

Surgical resection of the pericardium remains the appropriate treatment for constrictive pericarditis. The timing of surgical intervention is controversial, but many experts recommend a trial of medical therapy for noncalcific pericardial constriction and pericardiectomy in nonresponders after 4-8 weeks of antituberculosis chemotherapy.

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