Constrictive Pericarditis

by | 20 May, 2020

Login to enrol on courses and monitor progress


Constrictive pericarditis is characterised by a thickened, fibrotic and calcified pericardium. This limits ventricular filling and may result in heart failure. These changes are chronic and symptoms do not appear for a relatively long time.


Clinical features


  • Fatigue
  • Dyspnoea
  • Peripheral oedema



  • ECG: low voltage QRS complexes, generalised T wave inversion
  • Chest x-ray: small heart in the context of heart failure, pericardial calcification
  • Echocardiography: thickened, calcified pericardium with normally contracting ventricles (unlike restrictive cardiomyopathy)
  • Endomyocardial biopsy: can distinguish it from restrictive cardiomyopathy


Surgical excision of the pericardium (pericardiectomy).


Overall, prognosis is poor.


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Contribute ✍

As a completely free educational platform, we rely on contributers like you to create valuable content that others can learn from. Please get in touch if you are able to contribute in any way e.g. articles, quiz questions.

*NEW* Medical Quiz Question Bank

Check your knowledge using our bank of (absolutely free) MCQ questions.

Other courses

Let's Learn Together!

All our lessons, courses and quizzes are free to access and use for everybody. Always.

Join Clinician Revision to get personalised see your progress and review your medical question bank attempts.

Can you contribute to a topic, lesson or quiz?

As a learning resource made by and for the medical community, we rely on the valuable contribution of users in writing new articles.