Prior to the advent of combination antiretroviral therapy, pericardial effusion, pericarditis, and cardiac tamponade were important clinical problems in HIV-infected patients, especially those with AIDS diagnoses. In the current HIV treatment era, clinically significant pericardial disease is uncommon. Infectious causes, primarily mycobacterial, and malignancy are the most common identifiable causes of clinically significant pericardial disease in HIV-infected patients. The evaluation and management of pericardial disease does not differ fundamentally in HIV-infected patients compared to the general population. While uncommon in resource-rich settings, tuberculous pericarditis is a concern in HIV-infected patients, and empiric treatment for this may be a consideration in some clinical settings with negative diagnostic evaluations. The role of adjunctive corticosteroids with antituberculous therapy remains controversial.
KeywordsPericarditis Pericardial effusion HIV-1 infection Tuberculous pericarditis Cardiac tamponade
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