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December 1960

Acute Staphylococcal Pericarditis: Successful Treatment by Parietal Pericardiectomy

Author Affiliations

St. Louis
From the Department of Thoracic and Cardiac Surgery and the Division of Medicine, The Jewish Hospital of St. Louis and Faith Hospital.

Arch Surg. 1960;81(6):903-906. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1960.01300060049011

Staphylococcal infections have recently become increasingly frequent and of increasing importance among both hospitalized and nonhospitalized patients.8 Purulent pericarditis may be a complication of any systemic infection with Staphylococcus aureus, or may result from the direct introduction of the organism by trauma or surgery. The disease is often fatal despite the availability of potent antibacterial drugs. In the past, treatment has consisted of the administration of suitable antibiotics and drainage of the pericardium, either by repeated pericardiocenteses or by pericardiostomy. The following case is the second published instance in which treatment was by pericardiectomy in the acute stage of the disease.

Report of Case  A 24-year-old white male mechanic was admitted to Faith Hospital in St. Louis on October 7, 1959, because of pain in the left side of the chest and in the left arm. The patient had had a pustular lesion at the angle of the right

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