A case of pericardial actinomycosis mimicking a pericardial tumour is reported. After the appearance of non-specific subpleural pulmonary nodules, a 48 year old woman presented with fever and clinical signs of pericardial tamponade. Subxiphoid pericardiotomy yielded a culture negative fluid and inflammatory reactive histopathology in the pericardial biopsy specimen. Because of suspected infection cefamandole was administered for 10 days and the patient became afebrile. The pericardial effusion recurred with no clinical signs two weeks later. Steroid medication resulted in rapid regression of the pericardial effusion. Subsequent echocardiography controls showed a tumour-like pericardial mass, confirmed by cardiac magnetic imaging. Surgical exploration led to the final histological diagnosis of actinomycosis. After high dose and long term penicillin G treatment the patient recovered fully with no recurrence during two years’ follow up.
- cardiac magnetic resonance imaging
- pericardial actinomycosis
- pericardial tumour
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