Constrictive Pericarditis: Etiologic Spectrum, Patterns of Clinical Presentation, Prognostic Factors, and Long-term Follow-up

Andreu Porta-Sánchez, Jaume Sagristà-Sauleda, Ignacio Ferreira-González, Asunción Torrents-Fernández, Ivo Roca-Luque, David García-Dorado

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20 Citations (Scopus)


© 2014 Sociedad Española de Cardiología. Introduction and objectives Some reports have described a change in the etiologic spectrum of constrictive pericarditis. In addition, data on the relationship between its clinical presentation and etiology are lacking. We sought to describe the etiologies of the disease, their relationship with its clinical presentation and surgical findings, and to identify predictors of poor outcome. Methods We analyzed 140 consecutive patients who underwent surgery for constrictive pericarditis over a 34-year period in a single center. Results The etiology was idiopathic in 76 patients (54%), acute idiopathic pericarditis in 24 patients (17%), tuberculous pericarditis in 15 patients (11%), purulent pericarditis in 10 patients (7%), and cardiac surgery, radiation and uremia in 5, 3 and 2 patients respectively (4%, 2% and 1%). Mean duration of symptoms before pericardiectomy was 19 months (standard deviation=44 months), the most acute presentation being for purulent pericarditis (26 days [range, 7-60 days]) and the most chronic for idiopathic cases (29 months [range, 4 days-360 months]). Perioperative mortality was 11%. There was no difference in mortality between etiologies. Median follow-up was 12 years (range, 0.1-33.0 years) in which 50 patients died. In a Cox-regression analysis, age at surgery, advanced New York Heart Association functional class (III to IV) and previous acute idiopathic pericarditis were associated with increased mortality during follow-up. Conclusions Most cases of constrictive pericarditis are idiopathic. Cardiac surgery and radiation accounted for a minority of cases. Etiologic investigations are warranted only in acute or subacute presentations. Age, advanced functional class, and previous acute idiopathic pericarditis are associated with increased mortality.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1092-1100
JournalRevista Espanola de Cardiologia
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2015


  • Acute idiopathic pericarditis
  • Constrictive pericarditis
  • Pericardial constriction
  • Pericardiectomy
  • Pericarditis


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