Article Text


Value of reference tracings in diagnosis and assessment of constrictive epi- and pericarditis
  1. H. Kesteloot,
  2. B. Denef
  1. Department of Cardiology, St. Raphaels University Clinic, Kapucijnen voer, 35, Leuven, Belgium


    Reference tracings are of great value in the diagnosis and assessment of constrictive pericarditis. The Q-h interval in the jugular venous pulse tracing is strongly correlated with the mean right atrial pressure (r=0·91). The left ventricular ejection time, the Q-A2 interval, and the Q-h interval are independent during atrial fibrillation from the preceding diastolic filling interval. This differentiates constrictive pericarditis from valvular heart disease. Cases with haemodynamically significant constrictive epicarditis are characterized by a rapid evolution, absence of pericardial calcification and absence of an early diastolic filling sound, a dominant a wave in the jugular venous pulse tracing, and a high early diastolic ventricular pressure. The haemodynamic behaviour is similar to that found in cases with myocardial fibrosis.

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