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Q fever is characterized by its clinical polymorphism, and pericarditis associated with Q fever has occasionally been described. Herein we report 15 cases of Coxiella burnetii pericarditis, 9 from our data bank and 6 encountered within the past 12 months. Three patients presented with life-threatening tamponade. We compare our cases with the 18 previously reported and with 60 Q fever-matched controls at our center. This study showed that Q fever pericarditis can present as acute as well as chronic disease; we describe relapse after 6 months in association with a serological profile compatible with the chronic form of disease (phase I C. burnetii IgG titer of > or = 800). Discriminant factors among patients and controls are age of > 52 years (adjusted odds ratio [OR], 5.66), the occurrence of general symptoms such as arthralgias or myalgias (adjusted OR, 6.54), and a normal erythrocyte sedimentation rate (adjusted OR, 16.37). No specific symptoms or underlying cardiac predispositions are observed.


P Y Levy, P Carrieri, D Raoult. Coxiella burnetii pericarditis: report of 15 cases and review. Clinical infectious diseases : an official publication of the Infectious Diseases Society of America. 1999 Aug;29(2):393-7

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PMID: 10476748

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