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Effect of prednisolone on inflammatory markers in pericardial tuberculosis: A pilot study

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journal contribution
posted on 14.09.2020 by J Shenje, RP Lai, IL Ross, BM Mayosi, RJ Wilkinson, M Ntsekhe, KA Wilkinson
Background: Pericardial disorders are a common cause of heart disease, and the most common cause of pericarditis in developing countries is tuberculous (TB) pericarditis. It has been shown that prednisolone added to standard anti-TB therapy leads to a lower rate of constrictive pericarditis. We conducted a pilot study to evaluate the effect of adjunctive prednisolone treatment on the concentration of inflammatory markers in pericardial tuberculosis, in order to inform immunological mechanisms at the disease site. Methods: Pericardial fluid, plasma and saliva samples were collected from fourteen patients with pericardial tuberculosis, at multiple time points. Inflammatory markers were measured using multiplex luminex analysis and ELISA. Results: In samples from 14 patients we confirmed a strongly compartmentalized immune response at the disease site and found that prednisolone significantly reduced IL-6 concentrations in plasma by 8 hours of treatment, IL-1beta concentrations in saliva, as well as IL-8 concentrations in both pericardial fluid and saliva by 24 hours. Conclusion: Monitoring the early effect of adjunctive immunotherapy in plasma or saliva is a possibility in pericarditis.