This is a disease much more prevalent than has heretofore been generally accepted. A great many cases of obscure heart trouble in the anemic when we find no valvular disease, and when there are no marked, but certain masked symptoms of the disease, is due to tubercular pericarditis. Especially is this true if the patient later begins to lose weight and assume a cachectic appearance.
Tubercular pericarditis generally progresses insidiously. It is communicated to the pericardium through the lymphatics, arterial or venous systems, and from that tends to extend to the peritoneum and other serous membranes. It is difficult to diagnose the disease as tubercular pericarditis in contradistinction to the non-tubercular pericarditis, unless it is secondary to a demonstrable tubercular lesion. However, if we are in doubt we can examine some of the aspirated fluid for the tubercle bacilli. If our search were negative we could not be positive that
McGAHAN CF. TUBERCULAR PERICARDITIS. JAMA. 1901;XXXVII(24):1580–1581. doi:10.1001/jama.1901.62470500008002b
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