Pericarditis - constrictive - Overview
Definition of Pericarditis - constrictive:
Constrictive pericarditis is long-term (chronic) inflammation of the sac-like covering of the heart (the pericardium) with thickening, scarring, and muscle tightening (contracture).
Causes, incidence, and risk factors:
Constrictive pericarditis is most commonly caused by conditions or events that cause inflammation to develop around the heart, including:
Less common causes include:
- Abnormal fluid buildup in the covering of the heart due to bacterial or viral infection or surgical complications
Constrictive pericarditis may also develop without apparent cause.
The inflammation causes the covering of the heart to become thick and rigid, making it hard for the heart to stretch properly when it beats. As a result, the heart chambers don't fill up with enough blood. Blood backs up behind the heart, causing heart swelling and other symptoms of heart failure.
The condition is relatively rare in children.
- Reviewed last on: 6/1/2010
- Issam Mikati, MD, Associate Professor of Medicine, Feinberg School of Medicine, Director, Northwestern Clinic Echocardiography Lab, Northwestern University, Chicago, IL. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.
LeWinter MM. Pericardial diseases. In: Libby P, Bonow RO, Mann DL, Zipes DP, eds. Braunwald's Heart Disease: A Textbook of Cardiovascular Medicine. 8th ed. St. Louis, Mo: WB Saunders; 2007:chap 70.
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