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Etiology of pericardial disease

Author
Brian D Hoit, MD
Section Editors
Martin M LeWinter, MD
Jae K Oh, MD
Deputy Editor
Brian C Downey, MD, FACC

INTRODUCTION

The normal pericardium is a fibroelastic sac surrounding the heart that contains a thin layer of fluid. Diseases of the pericardium may be isolated to the pericardium or associated with a number of systemic disorders. The principal manifestations of pericardial disease are pericarditis (an acute, subacute, or chronic fibrinous process) and pericardial effusion, as well as long-term complications such as cardiac tamponade and constrictive pericarditis. In some cases, the clinical presentation of acute pericardial inflammation predominates, and the presence of excess pericardial fluid is clinically unimportant. In other cases, the effusion and its clinical consequences (ie, cardiac tamponade and constrictive pericarditis) are of primary importance.

This topic will provide a brief overview of the major causes of pericardial disease. Details of the specific pericardial disorders are discussed separately. (See "Clinical presentation and diagnostic evaluation of acute pericarditis" and "Diagnosis and treatment of pericardial effusion" and "Constrictive pericarditis".)

CLASSIFICATION

The etiology of pericardial diseases is best considered by using a modification of the time-honored pathologic classification of disease into inflammatory, neoplastic, vascular, congenital, and idiopathic causes (table 1) [1-3]. The major causes include:

Infectious

Viral, including HIV

                        

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Literature review current through: Nov 2016. | This topic last updated: Tue May 05 00:00:00 GMT 2015.
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