Current Cardiology Reports

, 21:6 | Cite as

Radical Pericardiectomy for Pericardial Diseases

  • Shinya Unai
  • Douglas R. JohnstonEmail author
Pericardial Disease (AL Klein and CL Jellis, Section Editors)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Pericardial Disease


Purpose of Review

The surgical management of constrictive pericarditis has evolved from a partial pericardiectomy via a thoracotomy approach to a more extensive removal of the pericardium. This review summarizes the published studies regarding surgical management of pericardial disease, focusing on the surgical technique of radical pericardiectomy for constrictive pericarditis.

Recent Findings

Anterior phrenic to phrenic resection without the use of cardiopulmonary bypass has been performed in many centers. This approach achieves improvement in symptoms; however, there are patients who have progressive constriction of the remaining pericardium requiring a completion pericardiectomy. Recent studies show that the survival and functional outcome is superior after a complete pericardiectomy.


Our approach is to perform a complete pericardiectomy using cardiopulmonary bypass. In experienced centers, the outcomes have significantly improved with careful selection of patients, advances in pre- and postoperative care, and refinement in surgical techniques.


Pericardiectomy Constrictive pericarditis Recurrent pericarditis Cardiopulmonary bypass Cardiac surgery 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

Shinya Unai and Douglas R. Johnston declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.


Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major importance

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Thoracic and Cardiovascular SurgeryCleveland ClinicClevelandUSA

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