Purulent pericarditis caused by Candida: report of three cases and identification of high-risk populations as an aid to early diagnosis.
Purulent pericarditis due to fungal organisms is rare and often unrecognized because of the subtle clinical clues and insidious onset. The records of 11 cases of purulent pericarditis were selected from records of 11,000 cases of pericarditis at Duke University Medical Center and reviewed, and experience with three cases of candida purulent pericarditis (CPP) was evaluated. One case occurred in a patient recovering from complicated cardiac surgery, one in a patient with hematologic malignancy, and one in an alcoholic patient requiring intubation for a severe respiratory infection. Each case is representative of a group at increased risk for the development of CPP. Given the poor prognosis for CPP, treatment should include both medical and surgical interventions. Although amphotericin B achieves good penetration into the inflamed pericardial space, the only survivors of CPP have received both amphotericin B and pericardiectomy. Careful attention to clinical indications of pericardial inflammation and systemic infection in the three groups of patients may lead to earlier recognition of CPP, implementation of appropriate therapy, and perhaps a higher rate of cure.
Kraus, WE; Valenstein, PN; Corey, GR
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