The pericardium formed by two layers, pleural and visceral, fulfills the role of keeping the heart in position and in turn acts as a barrier against infections. Their commitment may be due to a wide variety of rare diseases where the causes are usually idiopathic, inflammatory, neoplastic, traumatic, congenital, or infectious. Within the latter they are of viral, fungal, and bacterial origin, being able to be caused by Mycobacteria. Tuberculous pericarditis is the entity in which inflammation of the pericardium is caused by Koch’s bacillus. The access route to it includes three mechanisms: (1) lymphatic; (2) hematogenous spread, mainly in immunocompetent patients; and (3) by direct contact from adjacent structures such as the lung and pleura. In immunocompetent patients, the condition is usually paucibacillary, with manifestation at the level of a single organ, while in immunocompromised patients, the rate of bacterial replication is high. Tuberculosis (TB) is a disease that is far from being eradicated today. Despite the great majority of cases in which pulmonary involvement is confirmed, a large number of patients suffer compromises from other organs. If tuberculous pericarditis is suspected, it is important to be able to establish an early diagnosis in order to achieve an adequate treatment as soon as possible.
Part of the book: Inflammatory Heart Diseases