Annals of Pediatric Cardiology
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Purulent pericardial effusion in children: Experience from a tertiary care center in North India

1 Department of Pediatrics, Maulana Azad Medical College, New Delhi, India
2 Department of Cardiology, G.B. Pant Hospital, New Delhi, India

Correspondence Address:
Anika Agrawal,
Department of Pediatrics, Maulana Azad Medical College, New Delhi
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/apc.APC_125_19

Background: Purulent pericarditis, if not recognized and managed timely, it can lead to significant morbidity and mortality. There are no guidelines for the management of purulent pericardial effusion in pediatric patients. Aim: The study describes our experience with the management of 22 patients admitted with a primary diagnosis of purulent pericardial effusion seen over a 7-year period. Materials and Methods: Hospital records of 22 children admitted to the pediatric intensive care unit with purulent pericardial effusion during January 2012–December 2018 were retrospectively analyzed. Results: The mean age of presentation was 4.6 years. The most common presentation was fever. History of antecedent trauma was present in 27.27% of patients. Empyema was the most common associated infection. Staphylococcus aureus was the most commonly isolated organism. Out of 22, pericardial drainage was done in 13 patients (59%). Only one of these patients required pericardiectomy later on. Six (27.2%) patients responded to antibiotics alone. Three (13.6%) patients died before any intervention could be planned. Conclusion: Echocardiography-guided percutaneous pericardiocentesis and pigtail catheter placement are a safe and effective treatment for purulent pericardial effusion. When pericardial drainage is not amenable, close monitoring of the size of effusion by serial echocardiography is required. Small residual pericardial effusion may be managed conservatively.

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