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Interact Cardiovasc Thorac Surg. 2005 Apr;4(2):151-5. Epub 2005 Feb 22.

Should the pericardium be closed in patients undergoing cardiac surgery?

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Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery, Wythenshawe Hospital, Southmoor Road, Manchester M23 9LT, UK.


A best evidence topic in Cardiothoracic Surgery was written according to a structured protocol. The question addressed was in open heart surgery is there any adverse effect to closing the pericardium? Altogether 240 publications were found using the reported search of which 8 were deemed to be relevant to answer the clinical question. The author, journal, date and country of publication, patient group studied, study type, relevant outcomes, results, and study weaknesses of these papers are tabulated. We conclude that the adverse haemodynamic impact of pericardial closure is confirmed in several studies, however, no study has yet reported an adverse clinical outcome due to the closure of the pericardium.


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