Exposure to cold was postulated as the cause of acute benign pericarditis by Hodges,* who described the syndrome in 1854.1 Nearly a century later Christian, reviewing the still obscure cause of this disease, suggested it was of viral etiology.2 Subsequent studies have tended to support this thesis by implicating many different viruses, but only infectious mononucleosis and Coxsackie virus infections have been repeatedly associated with the syndrome.Acute benign pericarditis is often observed during epidemics of pleurodynia, and its association with Coxsackie virus infections in this specific circumstance is well recognized.3-6 However, the relative importance of these and other viruses in the etiology of pericarditis at other times remains uncertain. It is the purpose of this report to describe the virologic investigation of 34 patients with sporadic acute benign pericarditis and to provide the clinician with a contemporary perspective into the etiology of this syndrome.
JOHNSON RT, PORTNOY B, ROGERS NG, BUESCHER EL. Acute Benign Pericarditis: Virologic Study of 34 Patients. Arch Intern Med. 1961;108(6):823–832. doi:10.1001/archinte.1961.03620120007002
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