Journal of General Internal Medicine

, Volume 23, Issue 9, pp 1532–1535 | Cite as

A Case of Primary Meningococcal Pericarditis Caused by Neisseria Meningitidis Serotype Y with Rapid Evolution into Cardiac Tamponade

  • Amer ZeidanEmail author
  • Sayed Tariq
  • Bishoy Faltas
  • Marguerite Urban
  • Kevin McGrody
Case Reviews/Clinical Vignettes


Primary meningococcal pericarditis (PMP) is a rare form of acute purulent pericarditis that often evolves into cardiac tamponade and usually requires pericardial drainage. PMP is a rare, difficult to diagnose, rapidly progressive form of meningococcal infections. PMP is typically caused by Neisseria meningitidis of serotype C, or, less commonly, B or W135. We report the second case of PMP caused by Neisseria meningitidis of serotype Y. Our patient was not critically ill at presentation, and her presentation could have been consistent with viral uncomplicated pericarditis with the exception of the mild leukocytosis with a left shift in the differential. Clinicians should be aware that early in the course of PMP, the illness may not be severe. Mild leukocytosis with a left shift or bandemia in the setting of what otherwise seems to be a case of uncomplicated viral pericarditis should prompt suspicion for PMP and further evaluation and/or monitoring.


pericarditis meningococci Neisseria meningitidis tamponade 



There authors have not received any funding for the work presented in this manuscript. The authors report no relevant conflicts of interest or financial interests related to this manuscript, including employment, consultancies, honoraria, stock ownership or options, expert testimony, grants or patents received or pending, or royalties.


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Copyright information

© Society of General Internal Medicine 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Amer Zeidan
    • 1
    Email author
  • Sayed Tariq
    • 1
  • Bishoy Faltas
    • 1
  • Marguerite Urban
    • 2
  • Kevin McGrody
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of MedicineRochester General HospitalRochesterUSA
  2. 2.Division of Infectious Diseases, Department of MedicineUniversity of Rochester Medical CenterRochesterUSA
  3. 3.Division of Cardiology, Department of MedicineRochester General HospitalRochesterUSA

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