Constrictive pericarditis is an unusual complication of rheumatoid arthritis, and its development appears to be uninfluenced by second-line therapy. Five patients are described who developed the disease, with possibly two more. Medical treatment is ineffective: the treatment of choice is surgical, and the postoperative prognosis is good. The crude prevalence rate for the association is 0.64% for males and 0.06% for females.
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