What is the diagnostic workup protocol for acute pericarditis?

Updated: Apr 02, 2019
  • Author: Sean Spangler, MD; Chief Editor: Terrence X O'Brien, MD, MS, FACC  more...
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An example of a diagnostic workup protocol is as follows:

  • The initial evaluation includes a clinical history and physical examination; ECG; chest radiography, echocardiography, CT scanning, CMRI, positron-emission tomography (PET) scanning, or PET/CT scanning, as indicated; and initial laboratory work. [3, 4]

  • Consider thoracentesis with adenosine deaminase (to evaluate for tuberculosis) in addition to conventional studies in patients with a pleural effusion.

  • Pericardiocentesis should be performed on all patients with cardiac tamponade or suspected purulent pericarditis.

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