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Pericarditis - constrictive

  • Alternative Names

    Constrictive pericarditis


    The goal of treatment is to improve heart function. The cause must be identified and treated. This may include antibiotics, antituberculosis medications, or other treatments.

    Diuretics ("water pills") are commonly prescribed in small doses to help the body remove excess fluid. Analgesics may be needed to control pain.

    Decreased activity may be recommended for some patients.

    A low-sodium diet may also be recommended.

    The definitive treatment is a type of surgery called a pericardiectomy. This involves cutting or removing the scarring and part of the sac-like covering of the heart.

    Support Groups

    Expectations (prognosis)

    Constrictive pericarditis may be life threatening if untreated.

    However, surgery to treat the condition is associated with a relatively high complication rate and is usually reserved for patients who have severe symptoms.

    • Cardiac tamponade
    • Damage to the coronary arteries
    • Heart failure
    • Pulmonary edema
    • Scarring of the heart muscle

    Calling your health care provider

    Call your health care provider if you have symptoms of constrictive pericarditis.