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Pericardial Disease 

Pericardial Disease
Chapter:
Pericardial Disease
Author(s):

Phillip M. Young

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780199941186.003.0008
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date: 27 July 2021

The pericardium is a flask-shaped sac composed of 2 virtually inelastic layers, with a small amount of fluid between them, surrounding the heart. Its functions are to anchor the heart in the mediastinum, prevent the heart from extreme dilatation in acute settings, and potentially act as a barrier to the spread of disease from contiguous organs. Pathologic changes in its stiffness or in the amount of fluid it contains can alter normal heart function. The purpose of this chapter is to provide examples of pericardial pathology-induced changes and to identify their appearance on magnetic resonance imaging.

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