Our object in this presentation is to focus attention on the subject of pericarditis and to develop greater familiarity with certain operations performed on and around the heart. That there is a definite indication for these procedures is attested by the report of many cases in the literature. It is a matter of regret that surgery involving the heart is usually deferred so long that operation can scarcely be expected to afford any relief.
While pericarditis is not a common disease, it is unfortunate that it so frequently is overlooked. Postmortem records have shown in the experience of one of us, while an intern in the Philadelphia General Hospital in 1900, that pericarditis was undiagnosed more often than any other disease. In the past ten years in the Philadelphia General Hospital, out of 19,500 postmortems, 146 cases of pericarditis were found, of which only 4 per cent had been diagnosed
BEHREND M, BOLES RS. INDICATIONS FOR THE OPERATIONS OF CARDIOLYSIS, PERICARDIOTOMY AND PERICARDIECTOMY. JAMA. 1937;108(23):1941–1946. doi:10.1001/jama.1937.02780230001001
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