Pericarditis in horses: six cases (1982-1986). Academic Article uri icon


  • Records of 6 horses with pericarditis were reviewed. Septic pericarditis was suspected in all horses, based on historic and clinical findings. In horses 1, 2, and 4, cytologic examination of the pericardial effusion revealed acute inflammation with severe neutrophil degeneration. In horses 3 and 5, cytologic examination of pericardial fluid revealed subacute inflammation with degenerated neutrophils, and in horse 6, chronic active inflammation, with well preserved neutrophils. In horses 1 and 3, bacteria were identified on cytologic examination of pericardial fluid. Results of microbiologic cultures of pericardial fluid were positive in horse 3. All horses were treated with broad-spectrum antibiotics. An indwelling pericardial catheter was used to lavage and directly administer antibiotics into the pericardial sac. Horses 1, 4, 5, and 6 survived, horse 2 died of unrelated causes, and horse 3 was euthanatized at the owner's request. Surviving horses returned to athletic performance.

published proceedings

  • J Am Vet Med Assoc

author list (cited authors)

  • Bernard, W., Reef, V. B., Clark, E. S., Vaala, W., & Ehnen, S. J.

citation count

  • 41

complete list of authors

  • Bernard, W||Reef, VB||Clark, ES||Vaala, W||Ehnen, SJ

publication date

  • February 1990