May 1958

Diagnostic Biopsy of the Pericardium and Myocardium

Author Affiliations

From the Departments of Surgery and Cardiophysiology of the Cook County Hospital and the Presbyterian Hospital.

AMA Arch Surg. 1958;76(5):825-829. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1958.01280230165025

Surgical biopsy has been of little interest to the cardiologist or the surgeon as a method of establishing diagnosis in diseases of the pericardium and myocardium. It is the purpose of this paper to call attention to these entities in which the patient may benefit from the cooperation of the internist and the surgeon, and to describe a technique by which many of the cases of pericarditis and myocarditis may be accurately diagnosed and treated. The following five case reports are presented to illustrate the lack of specificity of symptoms and findings which may make etiologic diagnosis in these cases very difficult and to emphasize the necessity for direct examination of the pathologic anatomy if treatment is to be effective.

Report of Cases 

Case 1.  —A 29-year-old white woman was admitted to the Cook County Hospital with a massive pericardial effusion of undetermined etiology, and symptoms and findings of cardiac

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