On the basis of our reported experience with colchicine for recurrent pericarditis, we administered colchicine to two patients with large pericardial effusions complicating idiopathic pericarditis. The first was a 26-year-old male who showed clinical deterioration following emergency pericardiocentesis and aspirin (3 g/day) for 10 days; the second was a 2- year-old girl who was unsuccessfully treated with aspirin (100 mg/kg/day) for 2 weeks, followed by corticosteroids for 7 months. Administration of colchicine (1 mg/day) instead of aspirin in the first case, and with a rapid tapering-off of the corticosteroids in the second case, led to complete regression of the pericardial effusion on echocardiography within 1 week and 1 month, respectively. Colchicine was discontinued after 1 month in the first patient and was continued for 6 months in the child. Neither has had a recurrence at 24 and 6 months of follow-up, respectively. No side effects of colchicine were observed. We conclude that colchicine may be effective in the treatment of large pericardial effusion when therapy with nonsteroidal anti- inflammatory drags and/or corticosteroids fails.
- Pericardial effusion
- Recurrent pericarditis