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Panminerva Medica 2021 September;63(3):314-23

DOI: 10.23736/S0031-0808.21.04263-4


language: English

Pharmacologic treatment of acute and recurrent pericarditis: a systematic review and meta-analysis of controlled clinical trials

Stefano AVONDO 1, Alessandro ANDREIS 1, Matteo CASULA 1, Giuseppe BIONDI-ZOCCAI 2, 3, Massimo IMAZIO 1, 4

1 Department of Cardiology, Città della Salute e della Scienza, Turin, Italy; 2 Department of Medical-Surgical Sciences and Biotechnologies, Sapienza University, Latina, Italy; 3 Mediterranea Cardiocentro, Naples, Italy; 4 Unit of Cardiology, Cardiothoracic Department, University Hospital “Santa Maria della Misericordia”, Udine, Italy

INTRODUCTION: Recurrence is the most frequent complication following acute pericarditis and may occur in 30% patients, rising to 50% in case of multiple recurrences, lack of colchicine treatment or use of glucocorticoids. Available treatments include aspirin or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), colchicine, glucocorticoids, immunosuppressive agents, immunoglobulins, anti-interleukin-1 (IL-1) agents.
EVIDENCE ACQUISITION: This systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) aimed to assess the efficacy of pharmacological treatments for acute and recurrent pericarditis. Bibliographic databases were searched (PubMed, MEDLINE, Embase, Scopus, and the Cochrane Library) using the terms “acute pericarditis” or “recurrent pericarditis” and “colchicine” or “NSAIDs” or “glucocorticoids” or “immunosuppressive agents” or “immunoglobulins” or “anti-IL1 agents.” Random-effects meta-analysis was used to assess the risk of recurrent pericarditis. Publication bias was assessed using the Egger test, and meta-regression was performed to assess sources of heterogeneity.
EVIDENCE SYNTHESIS: Eleven RCTs assessed the efficacy of pharmacological treatments for acute and recurrent pericarditis (colchicine and anti-interleukin-1 agents). Colchicine, assessed in nine RCTs, was effective in the reduction of recurrent pericarditis, compared with standard treatment (17% vs .34%, RR=0.50; 95% CI 0.42-0.60, P<0.001), without any differences according to clinical setting (i.e. acute pericarditis, recurrent pericarditis, post-pericardiotomy syndrome; P=0.58). Anti-interleukin-1 agents (anakinra, rilonacept), assessed in two RCT, were effective in the reduction of recurrences, compared with placebo (10% vs.78%, RR=0.14; 95% CI 0.05-0.35, P<0.001).
CONCLUSIONS: A correct pharmacological management of pericarditis is key to prevent recurrences. Colchicine is the mainstay of treatment in acute and recurrent pericarditis, while anti-IL1 agents are a valuable option in case of recurrent pericarditis refractory to conventional drugs.

KEY WORDS: Colchicine; Glucocorticoids; Immunoglobulins; Interleukin 1 receptor antagonist protein; Rilonacept; Pericarditis

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