February 19, 1973

Amebic Pericarditis

JAMA. 1973;223(8):923. doi:10.1001/jama.1973.03220080053024

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To the Editor.—  In reviewing my copies of The Journal for 1972,I find that I overlooked the article entitled "Amebic Pericarditis" by Heller and associates (220:988, 1972). The interesting aspects of the two reported cases have been alluded to by the authors. I should like to add two observations.First, microscopic examination of the pus obtained at operation might well have established the diagnosis, especially if the drainage from the wound two or three days postoperatively was included. It is true that it is often difficult to find amebas in the pus of an amebic liver abscess when it is first drained, since the viable amebas usually are in the wall. After the abscess has been drained, it is more likely that organisms will be seen in the subsequent material that tends to come from the abscess wall. Necessarily, the specimens should be examined fairly soon after the material is