Constrictive pericarditis is not considered a complication of cardiac surgery. However, three cases are presented in which equalization of diastolic pressures and the ventricular pressure pattern of early diastolic dip-late diastolic plateau, characteristic of restrictive disease, appeared after cardiac surgery. In one patient cardiac constriction developed less than 2 weeks after surgery, and loculated clotted and unclotted viscous blood was removed from the pericardial space. In the other two patients the pericardial space was obliterated by dense adhesions. Thus constrictive pericarditis should be considered in postoperative patients who either do not recuperate satisfactorily after surgery or whose condition deteriorates after initial recovery.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine