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Pericardial disease 

Pericardial disease
Pericardial disease

Michael Henein

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date: 05 March 2021

The most common clinical presentations of pericardial disease are pericarditis, effusion, tamponade, and constriction. With acute pericarditis, the most common proven causes are viral infection or as a complication of myocardial infarction, but a wide range of other conditions including autoimmune rheumatic disorders and tuberculosis need to be considered. With pericardial effusion, acute rapid collection is usually caused by traumatic injury, iatrogenic ventricular puncture, or aortic dissection. Presentation is with pericardial tamponade, which is a condition of haemodynamic instability caused by chamber compression because increased intrapericardial pressure is greater than the filling pressure of the right and left ventricles. Presentation is typically with shortness of breath or circulatory collapse. With pericardial constriction, a stiff pericardium loses its stretching ability to accommodate normal changes in intracardiac pressures. Most patients present with leg or abdominal swelling and dyspnoea.

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