What is the prevalence of malignancy in acute pericarditis?

Updated: Apr 02, 2019
  • Author: Sean Spangler, MD; Chief Editor: Terrence X O'Brien, MD, MS, FACC  more...
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Malignancy account for 5-17% of pericarditis cases; in patients presenting with acute pericarditis or pericardial effusion, 4-7% have an unsuspected malignancy. Primary neoplasm of the heart and pericardium is rare; most cases of neoplasm-related pericarditis are a result of metastatic disease. Autopsy studies have noted that approximately 10% of patients with cancer develop cardiac involvement, and it is often clinically silent. The neoplastic cells reach the pericardium through the bloodstream, through the lymphatic system, or via local growth.

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