[Skip to Content]
[Skip to Content Landing]
December 1960

Constrictive Pericarditis: Occurrence in a Child One Month Following Acute Pericarditis with Effusion

Author Affiliations

From the Division of Cardiology and the Department of Surgery of The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, and the Departments of Pediatrics and Surgery, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine.

Am J Dis Child. 1960;100(6):850-856. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1960.04020040852007

Constrictive pericarditis is an uncommon disease, particularly in childhood. Approximately 25 cases have been reported in children below 10 years, the youngest at 2½ years of age.1-12 In approximately twothirds of cases the etiologic agent or mechanism of pericardial constriction is unknown. The interval of time between the original insult to the pericardium and the onset of the constrictive process is rather variable and difficult to determine.2,9 Similarly, the interval of time between the onset of evidence of constriction and surgical therapy or death varies widely.10,13

It is the purpose of this report to describe a 7-year-old Negro boy who developed severe constrictive pericarditis within 30 days following an episode of acute pericarditis with effusion. Surgical relief was accomplished 13 days later. The rapid conversion of acute pericarditis with effusion to constrictive pericarditis is unusual.

Report of a Case  A 7-year-old Negro boy was admitted to the