Most patients with pericarditis are discharged from the hospital without knowledge of the cause of their inflammatory process. Descriptive diagnoses such as "benign recurrent pericarditis" and "idiopathic pericarditis" are frequent.
For instance, at The New York Hospital 41 cases with a primary diagnosis of pericarditis were observed since 1961. (This excludes those cases obviously related to uremia, myocardial infarction, rheumatic heart disease, thalassemia, collagen vascular disease, and neoplasm.) Thirty-two of these cases were classified as acute benign or idiopathic type. Of the remaining nine cases, five were purulent, two were thought to be tuberculosis, one was diagnosed as histoplasmosis, and