Constrictive pericarditis (CP) results in pericardial non-compliance and diastolic dysfunction. Definitive treatment is pericardiectomy, but data on CP after orthotopic heart transplantation (OHT) are limited. Accordingly, a retrospective review of 8 cases of surgically proven CP after OHT undergoing pericardiectomy was conducted. In this series, all patients were male. The median time to symptomatic CP after OHT was 1.7 years (range: 0.8–18.1 years). The echocardiographic assessment was diagnostic for CP in 3 cases (38%). Cross-sectional imaging was performed in 6 cases, revealing ≥ mild pericardial thickening in all. A total of 6 patients (75%) underwent cardiac catheterization, which revealed CP in 5 (83%). Post-pericardiectomy 30-day mortality was 13% (1 patient). The median survival after pericardiectomy was 2.3 years (range: 18 days–14.6 years) and 5-year survival was 29%. Overall, CP after OHT represents a subset of patients with CP with high morbidity and mortality, and multimodality assessment is essential for its diagnosis. Despite a relatively low surgical mortality, long-term survival is poor.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine