Article Text

Download PDFPDF
Original research
Anakinra for constrictive pericarditis associated with incessant or recurrent pericarditis


Objective Frequent flares of pericardial inflammation in recurrent or incessant pericarditis with corticosteroid dependence and colchicine resistance may represent a risk factor for constrictive pericarditis (CP). This study was aimed at the identification of CP in these patients, evaluating the efficacy and safety of anakinra, a third-line treatment based on interleukin-1 inhibition, to treat CP and prevent the need for pericardiectomy.

Methods Consecutive patients with recurrent or incessant pericarditis with corticosteroid dependence and colchicine resistance were included in a prospective cohort study from 2015 to 2018. Enrolled patients received anakinra 100 mg once daily subcutaneously. The primary end point was the occurrence of CP. A clinical and echocardiographic follow-up was performed at 1, 3, 6 months and then every 6 months.

Results Thirty-nine patients (mean age 42 years, 67% females) were assessed, with a baseline recurrence rate of 2.76 flares/patient-year and a median disease duration of 12 months (IQR 9–20). During follow-up, CP was diagnosed in 8/39 (20%) patients. After anakinra dose of 100 mg/day, 5 patients (63%) had a complete resolution of pericardial constriction within a median of 1.2 months (IQR 1–4). In other three patients (37%), CP became chronic, requiring pericardiectomy within a median of 2.8 months (IQR 2–5). CP occurred in 11 patients (28%) with incessant course, which was associated with an increased risk of CP over time (HR for CP 30.6, 95% CI 3.69 to 253.09).

Conclusions In patients with recurrent or incessant pericarditis, anakinra may have a role in CP reversal. The risk of CP is associated with incessant rather than recurrent course.

  • pericardial constriction

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.

Linked Articles