Pediatric Infective Pericarditis Differential Diagnoses

Updated: Apr 03, 2019
  • Author: Poothirikovil Venugopalan, MBBS, MD, FRCPCH; Chief Editor: Stuart Berger, MD  more...
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Diagnostic Considerations

Children with suspected myocarditis or pericarditis should be sent to an emergency department, particularly as these conditions need to be differentiated for appropriate management. [2, 4]  Note that the potential for threat to life is much more likely in the setting of clinically apparent myocarditis than for pericarditis. [2, 4]

Indications for pericardial drainage include hemodynamic instability or diagnostic uncertainty for the etiology of the pericardial effusion. Early identification of bacterial effusion is important because it requires antibiotic therapy and pericardial drainage. Any underlying collagen-vascular disease must be recognized.

Diseases associated with pericardial effusion and tamponade include the following:

See Infective Endocarditis for more detailed information on this topic.

Differential Diagnoses