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Pericarditis As a Complication of Meningococcal Meningitis

Lt. Cdr. JOHN R. MORSE; Lt. Cdr. MARTIN I. ORETSKY; and Lt. Cdr. JOHN A. HUDSON
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The opinions or assertions contained in this paper are those of the authors and are not to be construed as official or reflecting views of the Navy Department or Naval Service at large.

▸Requests for reprints should be addressed to Lt. Cdr. John R. Morse, MC, USNR, Department of Medicine, Naval Hospital, Camp Pendleton, Calif. 92055


Ann Intern Med. 1971;74(2):212-217. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-74-2-212
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Pericarditis complicating the course of meningococcal meningitis is a distinctly uncommon event. A total of 32 cases of meningococcal meningitis were encountered over a 13-month period. Six of these developed acute pericarditis during the convalescent phase of their disease, for an incidence of 19%. Fever, chest pain, friction rub, and typical ECG changes were the common diagnostic findings in all cases. The clinical course of these patients was generally benign, with a variable but complete response to anti-inflammatory medications. Only one patient developed pericardial compression necessitating pericardiocentesis. Speculation as to causes for increased incidence of this complication includes the possibility

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