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June 1951


Author Affiliations


From the Department of Medicine, White Cross Hospital.

AMA Arch Intern Med. 1951;87(6):795-807. doi:10.1001/archinte.1951.03810060022003

DESPITE numerous clinical reports in the current literature,1 acute benign pericarditis continues to be mistaken for more serious cardiac diseases, especially acute myocardial infarction. The former generally affects persons of a younger age group. The tagging of these persons with a diagnosis of coronary heart disease is detrimental, not only to their future employment and insurability but also to the psyche. Although acute benign pericarditis is not the commonest cause of acute pain in the chest, it is not a rare cause. It is the purpose of this paper to reemphasize the diagnostic characteristics of this condition and to report four additional cases from our own observation. Repeated emphasis may lead to increased recognition, and the apparent beneficial effects of aureomycin and/or terramycin therapy may lead to more rapid recovery.

There are significant diagnostic features which, if kept in mind, will aid in differentiating acute benign pericarditis from the

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