Recurrent pericarditis in children: elevated cardiac autoantibodies

Clinical Research in Cardiology : Official Journal of the German Cardiac Society
R Dalla PozzaH Netz


Recurrent pericarditis is a rare disease in childhood. Nevertheless, it may represent a challenge to the clinician due to its resistance to anti-inflammatory treatment. The initial etiology often remains unclear; specific laboratory parameters predicting the frequency or severity of the recurrences are lacking. We report on four patients with recurrent pericarditis in whom antimyolemmal antibodies (AMLAs) were detected. A prolonged persistence of IgM-type AMLAs was found in three patients: two of them presented with acute inflammation as the initial event and one with 48 recurrences during 5.5 years. The fourth patient showed a fast conversion from IgM to IgG-type AMLAs after a less acute initial presentation and showed 4 mild recurrences during the 48-month follow-up. We were able to detect AMLAs in four children with recurrent pericarditis. This finding may be attributed to an auto-immunological disease following a first, acute event. We propose the detection of AMLAs in all children with unexplained recurrent pericarditis. Pediatric patients with a persistence of IgM-type AMLAs may face frequent recurrences and should be monitored therefore more closely. In addition, medical treatment may be changed in these patients with a ...Continue Reading


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