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October 1962

Postpericardiotomy Syndrome

Author Affiliations

Resident in Pediatrics, Children's Hospital (Dr. Hammel); Instructor in Thoracic Surgery, Georgetown University Medical School (Dr. Lyons).; From the Departments of Medicine and Thoracic Surgery of the Children's Hospital of the District of Columbia.

Am J Dis Child. 1962;104(4):385-390. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1962.02080030387010

The postpericardiotomy syndrome is a pleuropericarditis of uncertain etiology and pathogenesis befalling some patients who have undergone cardiac surgery. The majority of reported cases have occurred after mitral commissurotomy in adult patients with rheumatic heart disease,1-4 and thus the syndrome's original name, the "postcommissurotomy" syndrome. More recently has it been documented after surgery for congenital heart disease,4-8 although no reports have appeared in the pediatric literature to date. With the increasing amenability of congenital heart defects to surgical correction, the pediatrician's awareness of this postoperative complication becomes increasingly important. The purpose of this paper is to describe the syndrome as it occurred in a 13-year-old girl after repair of an atrial septal defect, to review the literature, and to speculate on the pathogenesis of this interesting entity.

Report of a Case  A 13-year-old Negro girl was admitted to the Children's Hospital of the District of Columbia on Feb.