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A Journal on Heart and Vascular Diseases

Official Journal of the Italian Society of Angiology and Vascular Pathology
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Minerva Cardioangiologica 2000 October;48(10):303-8

language: Italian

Use of a colchicine in chronic pericardial effusion. Presentation of two clinical cases and review of the literature

G. Corgnati, E. Oliaro, S. Drago, L. Mangiardi


Colchicine was introduced in 1987 for the treatment of recurrent pericarditis. Up to the present, papers have been published on a total of 117 patients treated with colchicine after the failure of treatment with FANS, corticosteroids and repeated pericardiocentesis. Here two cases of chronic pericardial effusion, one secondary to pericardiotomy, the second idiopathic, are reported. Both were recalcitrant to conventional therapy. Both patients were treated with 2 mg/die colchicine for 1 month followed by 1 mg/die for a further 5 months, without recurrence of the effusion after follow-up of 12 and 24 months respectively. No side-effects were observed. Colchicine is an anti-inflammatory drug which, by inhibiting various leukocyte functions, depresses the action of the leukocytes and of the fibroblasts at the site of the inflammation. We conclude that colchicine is effective in post-pericardiotomic and idiopathic chronic pericardial effusion as already reported in cases of recurrent pericarditis. Given the lackof side-effects, it could be considered as a drug of choice alternatively to FANS and corticosteroids.

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