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Louis A. Soloff, M.D.; Jacob Zatuchni, M.D.
JAMA. 1953;152(16):1530-1531. doi:10.1001/jama.1953.63690160005008b.
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Both infectious mononucleosis and acute benign, or so-called nonspecific, idiopathic, or primary, pericarditis are disorders of unknown cause that tend to occur commonly in young persons and are often preceded by symptoms suggestive of a mild infection of the upper respiratory tract.1 The pathological changes in infectious mononucleosis are widespread, and the clinical picture is highly variable, depending on the intensity of the localization of the pathological changes that produce symptoms and signs. The pathological changes in acute benign pericarditis are confined to the pericardium and possibly to the adjacent tissues, so that the clinical picture is fairly constant, except for variability in intensity of symptoms and signs. The diagnosis of infectious mononucleosis can, however, be firmly established by specific laboratory studies, whereas acute benign pericarditis remains a clinical concept and is an admission by the clinician of his inability to uncover a specific cause. Perhaps the increase in


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