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J Am Vet Med Assoc. 1984 Mar 1;184(5):546-53.

Constrictive pericardial disease in the dog.


The clinicopathologic features of constrictive pericardial disease in 13 dogs were reviewed. The causes were infection (3 dogs), metallic foreign body (1 dog), and idiopathic (9 dogs). Owner complaints included abdominal enlargement, tachypnea, weakness or syncope, exertional fatigue, and weight loss. Ascites and jugular venous distention were consistently observed, whereas abnormalities of arterial pulses and heart sounds were variable and inconsistent. Diminished QRS voltages were common. Mild to moderate cardiomegaly, rounding of the cardiac silhouette, and variable and nonspecific angiographic findings were frequently observed. Cardiac catheterization consistently showed elevation and equilibration of atrial and ventricular diastolic pressures, but a prominent early diastolic (y) descent was uncommon. Fibrosis was confined to the parietal pericardium in 8 dogs, and included the epicardium in 5 dogs. Parietal pericardectomy was successful in relieving the syndrome in 6 of 10 dogs. Pulmonary thrombosis was the most common cause of early postoperative mortality.

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