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April 1959

Recognition and Treatment of Hemopericardium and Hemorrhagic Pericarditis by Pericardiotomy

AMA Arch Intern Med. 1959;103(4):613-620. doi:10.1001/archinte.1959.00270040099013

The recognition of hemopericardium occurring during the course of acute myocardial infarction when recognized and treated appropriately can significantly change the course of the patient. The differentiation between hemopericardium and hemorrhagic pericarditis may on occasions be extremely difficult. Whether the use of anticoagulants in the treatment of myocardial infarction has increased the incidence of hemopericardium and hemorrhagic pericarditis remains a moot question. However, reports by Leedham and Orbison,1 Nichol,2 and Rose, Ott, and Maier3 have served to emphasize the importance of recognizing the presence of hemopericardium in a patient to whom anticoagulants have been administered.

The report of Laszlo4 has focused our attention on another aspect of hemopericardium, namely, as to whether constriction of the pericardium can occur as a complication. His report is rather convincing in this respect.

It is the purpose of this presentation to report the clinical course of two patients suffering from acute myocardial infarction, both

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