Purulent pericarditis, a localized infection within the pericardial space, has become a rare entity in the modern antibiotic era. Although historically a disease of children and young adults, this is no longer the case: the median age at the time of diagnosis has increased by nearly 30 years over the past 6 decades. Despite advances in diagnostic and treatment modalities, purulent pericarditis remains a life-threatening illness. Unfortunately, the diagnosis is made postmortem in more than half the cases. Thus, a high index of clinical suspicion is crucial. We present 2 cases of purulent pericarditis, and provide an updated review of other case series published over the past 60 years.
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