Constrictive Pericarditis

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  • Constrictive pericarditis (CP) is an uncommon form of diastolic heart failure that arises when an inelastic pericardium inhibits cardiac filling. Risk factors for the development of CP include prior cardiac surgery, infection (tuberculosis or viral) and radiation therapy, but most cases are still deemed to be idiopathic.

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    Constrictive pericarditis (CP) is an uncommon form of diastolic heart failure that arises when an inelastic pericardium inhibits cardiac filling. Risk factors for the development of CP include prior cardiac surgery, infection (tuberculosis or viral) and radiation therapy, but most cases are still deemed to be idiopathic.

    Diagnosis is challenging, and requires careful ECG assessment, and identification of the key pathophysiological concepts: dissociation of intrathoracic and intracardiac pressures and enhanced ventricular interaction. Surgical pericardiectomy is the only effective treatment for chronic CP.

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