Article Text

Pericardiectomy as a diagnostic and therapeutic procedure
  1. Ewa Konik1,
  2. Jeffrey Geske1,
  3. William Edwards2,
  4. Bernard Gersh1
  1. 1Department of Medicine/Cardiology, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota, USA
  2. 2Department of Medicine/Anatomic Pathology, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr Ewa Konik, konik.ewa{at}


A 70-year-old man presented with recent onset, predominantly right-sided heart failure. Echocardiogram demonstrated features of hypertensive heart disease and was suggestive of, but non-diagnostic for, constrictive pericarditis (CP). CT demonstrated mild pericardial thickening. Right heart catheterisation showed elevation and equalisation of diastolic pressures in all cardiac chambers with early rapid filling, minimal ventricular interdependence, and no dissociation of intrathoracic and intracardiac pressures. While several features pointed towards CP, the minimal ventricular interdependence and no dissociation of intrathoracic and intracardiac pressures suggested other pathology. Diagnostic pericardiectomy was performed, after which the central venous pressure decreased from 22 to 12 mm Hg. Pathology revealed pericardial fibrosis. The patient experienced sustained resolution of his heart failure. A potential explanation for lack of CP criteria was the presence of hypertensive heart disease. CP needs to be considered when approaching patients with heart failure as diagnostic evaluation can be multifaceted and treatment curative.

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  • Contributors EK wrote the manuscript. WE collected pathology pictures and pathology manuscript. JG involved in manuscript writing and mentorship. BG participated in mentorship.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent Obtained.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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