Forty-one patients with acute tuberculous pericarditis were studied retrospectively. Anti-tuberculosis chemotherapy alone was effective in thirty. Five patients died, two from unrelated causes, two due to delayed diagnosis, and one after pericardiectomy. Constrictive pericarditis developed in seven patients, six of whom had successful pericardiectomy. Corticosteroids could not be shown to have reduced the risk of developing constriction. When constriction occurred it did so within the first six months of illness in all cases in contrast to a separate series of 15 patients who presented with constrictive pericarditis. These had had no previous history of tuberculosis, and in 10 cases where pericardiectomy was done, no histological evidence of tuberculosis was found. They were European with an average age of 49 years whereas in the group with acute tuberculous pericarditis 33 were Asian and the average age was 36 years.
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