What is it?

Constrictive pericarditis is a chronic inflammation of the pericard, the sac that surrounds the heart. Inflammation of the pericardium causes it to be thick and scarred, so after some time it loses its elasticity. It may cause symptoms of heart failure and even lead to death. It is a rare condition, seen mostly in adults. It may be caused due to heart surgery, radiation therapy,tuberculosis, viral or bacterial infection and mesothelioma.

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Additional names

This group contains additional names:
- Pericardial calcification

Signs & symptoms

Symptoms may include shortness of breath, fatigue, swollen abdomen, leg swelling, weakness, and chest pain.


Diagnosis is based upon findings from medical history and physical examination. Further evaluation may include imaging tests, cardiac catheterizations, electrocardiogram, and echocardiogram.


Treatment focuses on the heart function and may include diuretics, pain relievers, colchicine and steroids. Sometimes, surgery is needed.

☝️ This is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult with your physician before making any medical decision.

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