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August 1963

Pericarditis and Auricular Fibrillation: Occurrence in Familial Mediterranean Fever

Author Affiliations


From the Department of Medicine of the Jewish Hospital.

Research Fellow, Department of Immunology, Allergy, and Arthritis, Scripps Clinic and Research Foundation, La Jolla, Calif (Dr. Gale); Associate Physician, Teaching Section, Department of Internal Medicine, Jewish Hospital, St. Louis (Dr. Levin).

Arch Intern Med. 1963;112(2):234-241. doi:10.1001/archinte.1963.03860020132018

Familial Mediterranean fever (FMF), or recurrent polyserositis, is a disease of unknown etiology characterized by recurrent episodes of fever usually associated with abdominal, pleuritic, or arthritic pain. Less frequently, testicular pain,1 erythematosus dermatitis,2,3 and pericarditis 1,2,4 have been reported. Attacks are generally of short duration lasting 24 to 72 hours but in many instances may last significantly longer. They may occur once a year or less or at intervals of every few weeks or months. Between episodes the patient is asymptomatic, and laboratory findings are within normal limits. The disease has been reported mainly in Sephardic Jews, Armenians, and less frequently in persons from other areas in and around the Mediterranean. Amyloidosis occurs in some patients and constitutes the chief cause of death through renal involvement and subsequent failure.

Although FMF primarily involves serous membranes, pericarditis has been reported infrequently. Only three other cases of pericarditis with effusion

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