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September 1966

Pericardial Effusion of "Gold Paint" Appearance Following Myocardial Infarction

Author Affiliations


From the Ein Shams University Faculty of Medicine and the US Naval Medical Research Unit, No. 3, Cairo.

Arch Intern Med. 1966;118(3):249-254. doi:10.1001/archinte.1966.00290150063012

ALEXANDER1 published a paper in 1919 entitled, "A Pericardial Fluid of 'Gold Paint' Appearance Due to the Presence of Cholestern." His patient had myxedema and the purpose of his short paper was only to point out that cholesterol crystals can occur in pericardial fluid and can impart to such fluid a shimmering, satiny beauty. Within a few years, however, the term "cholesterol pericarditis" had been coined and Alexander was being credited with having described the first case of an unusual but specific form of pericardial disease in which effusion was produced by the presence of cholesterol crystals that had somehow coated the epicardium and the inner aspect of the pericardium; the whole thing being possibly associated in some vague way with a disturbance in lipid metabolism.

In recent years a few authors 2,3 have risen to challenge the existence of any such entity as "cholesterol pericarditis." The purpose of

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