OBJECTIVE: To review literature regarding the safety and efficacy of colchicine for the primary prevention of the postpericardiotomy syndrome (PPS). DATA SOURCES: Searches of MEDLINE (1966-April 2011) and Cochrane Database (1993-April 2011) were conducted. Key search terms included postpericardiotomy syndrome, postcardiac injury syndrome, and colchicine. Limits were set for articles written in English with human subjects. Additional data were identified through bibliographic reviews. STUDY SELECTION AND DATA EXTRACTION: All English-language articles identified from the data sources were evaluated. All primary data were eligible for inclusion if they evaluated the safety and/or efficacy of colchicine for the primary prevention of PPS. Two prospective trials were identified and included for review. DATA SYNTHESIS: PPS occurs in 10-40% of patients who undergo cardiac surgery and is associated with significant morbidity. Effective medications used for the treatment of PPS include nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs or corticosteroids. Unfortunately, effective drug therapy for the primary prevention of PPS does not exist. Colchicine, an antiinflammatory agent with possible immunopathic antifibroblast properties, has shown benefit in the treatment and secondary prevention of pericarditis; thus, its use for primary prevention of PPS has been investigated. Limited data evaluating colchicine for the primary prevention of PPS have been published. However, results of the largest, well-designed trial showed positive efficacy outcomes for colchicine reducing the incidence of PPS with minimal adverse effects. CONCLUSIONS: At this time, there are not sufficient data to recommend colchicines as routine therapy for the primary prevention of PPS in patients undergoing cardiac surgery. Large clinical trials need to be conducted.
- Postcardiac injury syndrome