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Pericarditis and Atrial Arrhythmias

Jonas Brachfeld, MD
JAMA. 1963;185(13):1045. doi:10.1001/jama.1963.03060130063024.
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To the Editor:—  The editorial on pericarditis and atrial arrhythmias (JAMA185:316 [July 27] 1963) prompts me to describe a case of pericarditis in which an unusual coincidence may have accounted for atrial arrhythmias.In the fall of 1961, we had an opportunity to observe seven cases of pericarditis at Rancocas Valley Hospital during a local epidemic of Coxsackie B virus infections. Of these, only one patient showed atrial arrhythmias. This 38-year-old woman showed atypical clinical, radiological, and electrocardiographic evidence of severe pericarditis, with high fever and a stormy course. During the episode, the patient was noted to have many atrial arrhythmias, including runs of atrial tachycardia, atrial flutter, and atrial fibrillation. The episode subsided in 2 weeks, when all cardiac manifestations regressed and the electrocardiogram became entirely normal. When admitted to the hospital, the patient also expressed concern about a fine tremor she had noted in the preceding


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