Document Type : Review Article


Prince Talal Street, Al Mana General Hospital, Cardiothoracic department,



Chronic constrictive pericarditis leads to the signs and symptoms of heart failure due to the chronic compression of myocardium. When the pericardium becomes thickened and fibrosed, the resultant effects lead to the signs and symptoms of shortness of breath, exercise limitation, right heart failure and ultimately multi organ failure. Timely diagnosis is therefore the key. Once diagnosed, surgery is the only curative management strategy. Surgery results in improvement in functional status and survival but it is associated with significant mortality and morbidity especially if performed in the later stages of the disease. Over the years, surgical approach towards this pathology has largely remained unchanged. The etiology of constrictive pericarditis in the past has largely been tuberculosis. The recent years have nonetheless witnessed a significant change in the etiological mechanism of constrictive pericarditis from tuberculous to constrictive pericarditis post cardiac surgery and idiopathic pathologies. This review provides an account of the contemporary practices for surgical management of constrictive pericarditis.