Monday, December 19, 2011

Etiology of pericardial disease

Ralph Shabetai, MD
G Ralph Corey, MD

UpToDate performs a continuous review of over 375 journals and other resources. Updates are added as important new information is published. The literature review for version 15.1 is current through December 2006; this topic was last changed on December 28, 2006. The next version of UpToDate (15.2) will be released in June 2007.

INTRODUCTION The pericardium may be involved in a large number of systemic disorders or may be diseased as an isolated process. The principal manifestations of pericardial disease are pericarditis and pericardial effusion. While these are distinct phenomena, most patients with pericardial disease present with both manifestations to a greater or lesser degree. 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 are of primary importance. (See "Evaluation and management of acute pericarditis" and see "Diagnosis and treatment of pericardial effusion"). Read more...

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