Two cases of systemic juvenile chronic arthritis, complicated by cardiac tamponade and eight previously reported cases are described. The clinical features and radiological, electrocardiographic, and echocardiographic findings were similar for all cases. One patient in this series was treated with corticosteroids and underwent pericardiectomy, dying of sepsis 30 days after surgery. The other patient was also treated with corticosteroids, underwent pericardiocentesis and developed fatal ventricular tachycardia. Of the 10 cases, only six were successfully treated. Early diagnosis and appropriate treatment are essential for a favourable outcome.
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