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Circ Cardiovasc Imaging. 2013 May 1;6(3):399-406. doi: 10.1161/CIRCIMAGING.112.000078. Epub 2013 Mar 26.

Biventricular mechanics in constrictive pericarditis comparison with restrictive cardiomyopathy and impact of pericardiectomy.

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Heart and Vascular Institute and Imaging Institute, Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, OH 44195, USA. .



The aim of our study was to compare myocardial mechanics of constrictive pericarditis (CP) with restrictive cardiomyopathy (RCM), or healthy controls; to assess the impact of pericardial thickening detected by cardiac magnetic resonance on regional myocardial mechanics in CP; and to quantitate the effect of pericardiectomy on myocardial mechanics in CP.


Myocardial mechanics were evaluated by 2-dimensional speckle tracking in 52 consecutive patients with CP who underwent cardiac magnetic resonance examination before pericardiectomy, 35 patients with RCM, and 26 control subjects. CP patients had selectively depressed left ventricular (LV) anterolateral wall strain (LWS) and right ventricular (RV) free wall longitudinal systolic strain (FWS) but preserved LV septal wall systolic strain (SWS). In a comparison of RCM and normals, CP patients had significantly lower regional longitudinal systolic strain ratios (CP versus RCM and normal; LVLWS/LVSWS: 0.8±0.2 versus 1.1±0.2 and 1.0±0.2; P<0.001, RVFWS/LVSWS: 0.8±0.4 vs. 1.4±0.5 and 1.2±0.2; P<0.001). LVLWS/LVSWS was more robust than the LV lateral wall to LV septal wall ratio of early diastolic velocities at the LV base (LE'/SE') in differentiating CP from RCM (area under the curve=0.91 versus 0.76; P=0.011). There was a significant inverse correlation between pericardial thickness and respective ventricular strains (P=0.001). Pericardiectomy resulted in the improvement of the depressed LVLWS/LVSWS (0.83±0.18-0.95±0.12; P<0.001).


Regional longitudinal systolic strain ratios are robust novel diagnostic tools for CP. Regional myocardial mechanics inversely correlates with adjacent pericardial segment thickness detected by cardiac magnetic resonance, and pericardiectomy leads to systolic strain improvement, which is more pronounced in right ventricular and LV free walls.


cardiac MRI; constrictive pericarditis; echocardiography

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