Constrictive pericarditis may develop as a midterm or late complication of cardiac surgery. Owing to limited incidence and scarce reports in the literature the pathophysiologic determinants of such conditions are scarcely known, although a number of mechanisms have been implicated. This disease often poses major diagnostic issues as its clinical picture at presentation is nonspecific, may develop at any moment during the postoperative follow-up, and transthoracic echocardiography may be not suggestive of the diagnosis. The present paper aims at critically revising the available literature on the topic, emphasizing the need to keep a high level of suspicion for all surgeons and physicians involved in the long-term care of cardiac surgery patients.
- Cardiac Surgical Procedures
- Pericarditis, Constrictive