Recurrence is one of the major complications of pericarditis. Treatment of recurrence is often difficult, and immunosupressive drugs or surgery may be necessary. We conducted an open-label prospective study of nine patients (seven men and two women; age, 18-64 years; mean age, 41.7±13.7 years). Patients were treated with colchicine (1 mg/day) to prevent recurrences. All patients had suffered at least three relapses despite treatment with acetylsalicylic acid, indomethacin, prednisone, or a combination. Pericarditis was classified as idiopathic in five patients, postpericardiotomy in two, post-myocardial infarction in one, and associated with disseminated lupus erythematosus in one. For statistical analysis, we conducted a paired comparison design (Student's t test). All patients treated with colchicine responded favorably to therapy. Prednisone was discontinued in all patients after 2-6 weeks (mean, 26.33±10.9 days), and colchicine alone was continued. After a mean follow-up of 24.3 months (minimum, 10 months; maximum, 54 months), no recurrences were observed in any patient; there was a significant difference between the symptom-free periods before and after treatment with colchicine (p<0.002). Our study suggests that colchicine may be useful in avoiding recurrence of pericarditis, although these results need to be confirmed in a larger, double-blind study.
|Publication status||Published - 1 Jan 1990|