Pericardiectomy is the standard treatment in patients with chronic constrictive pericarditis who have persistent symptoms. However, myocardial atrophy with prolonged pericardial constriction and abrupt increase in venous return can lead to heart failure with volume overload after pericardial decompression, especially in the right ventricle (RV). We experienced a 44 year old male patient who developed transient RV failure after pericardiectomy for constrictive pericarditis. Echocardiography revealed a markedly dilated RV with decreased peak systolic velocity of the tricuspid annulus, suggesting severe RV dysfunction. After treatment with inotropics and diuretics, a follow-up echocardiography revealed an improved systolic function with decreased RV chamber size. This case demonstrates the importance of volume overload and RV dysfunction in patients with constrictive pericarditis undergoing pericardiectomy.
- Constrictive pericarditis
- Right ventricular dysfunction