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May 9, 1959


Author Affiliations

Rockville Centre, N. Y.; Hempstead, N. Y.

From the Division of Internal Medicine, Meadowbrook Hospital, Hempstead, N. Y.

JAMA. 1959;170(2):191-194. doi:10.1001/jama.1959.63010020003014a

The occurrence of pericarditis in association with acute infectious disease is not uncommon and has been reported frequently in the past decade.1 Griffith and Wallace,2 in 1953, reported on the etiology of pericarditis and recorded 15 different causes for this disease; the highest percentage (15.8) of cases is classified as being due to idiopathic disease. They make no mention of chickenpox (varicella) as a causative agent. In other reports,3 a relationship between viral disease and pericarditis of the so-called benign nonspecific type has been definitely established. Up to now, there have been no reports in the literature showing the coexistence of pericarditis with chickenpox; however, the presence of myocarditis with chickenpox is not unknown. Hackel4 described seven cases of chickenpox ending fatally in which the autopsy reports showed myocarditis not suspected clinically. Epicarditis also was demonstrated to a moderate degree in six of these cases. It