Background Diagnosis of constrictive pericarditis (CP) can be challenging. It can be nearly impossible to distinguish CP from other causes of right heart failure. Although various imaging modalities help in the diagnosis, no test is definitive. Several reviews have addressed the role of various imaging techniques in the diagnosis of CP but a systematic review has not yet been published. Objective Our intention was to study the ability of various non-invasive imaging modalities to diagnose CP in patients with surgically confirmed disease and to apply our findings to develop a clinically useful diagnostic algorithm. Methods A PubMed (NLM) search was performed with MeSH term “constrictive pericarditis”. Original articles that investigated the ability of various cardiovascular imaging modalities to noninvasively diagnose surgically confirmed CP were included in our review. Investigations that included any cases without surgical confirmation were excluded. Results The PubMed search yielded 3001 results with MeSH term “constrictive pericarditis” (January 8, 2016). We identified (40) studies on CP that matched our inclusion criteria. We summarized our results sorted by individual non-invasive CV imaging modalities – echocardiography, cardiac computed tomography (CT), and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Under each imaging modality, we grouped our discussion based on different parameters useful in CP diagnosis. Conclusions In conclusion, contemporary diagnosis of CP is based on clinical features and echocardiography. Cardiac MRI is recommended in patients where echocardiography is not diagnostic. Both cardiac MRI and CT can guide surgical planning but we prefer MRI as it provides both structural and functional information.
- Cardiac computed tomography
- Cardiac magnetic resonance imaging
- Cardiovascular imaging
- Constrictive pericarditis
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine