Multimodality Imaging of Pericardial Diseases

  • Mouaz H. Al-Mallah
  • Fatimah Almasoudi
  • Mohamed Ebid
  • Amjad M. Ahmed
  • Abdelrahman Jamiel
Imaging (Q Truong, Section Editor)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Imaging

Opinion statement

Pericardial diseases have changed their epidemiology in the past few years. With the aging population and decreasing incidence of communicable diseases, the causes of pericardial diseases have significantly changed from infectious and malignant to postradiation and cardiac surgery causes. Despite that, pericardial diseases remain difficult to diagnose. The accurate and timely diagnosis of these diseases is essential to avoid the late sequela of pericardial constriction and pericardial cirrhosis. Echocardiography remains the first test of choice for the assessment of patients with suspected pericardial diseases. Most patients with acute pericarditis have a self-limiting course and do not need further imaging. However, in the era of multimodality imaging, other modalities, namely, computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (CMR), are often utilized in complex cases. These two modalities provide a wide-open view of the pericardium and adjacent structures. They have high resolution to assess pericardial calcification, a hallmark of many diseases especially tuberculous constrictive pericarditis. CMR is also unique in its ability to assess pericardial late gadolinium enhancement (LGE) and edema. These have been recently suggested to be very important in the progression from acute pericarditis to constrictive pericarditis. In addition, they provide prognostic value to assess which patients are at high risk of developing heart failure and resource utilization. Thus, in the current era, patients with suspected complex pericardial diseases will need a multimodality approach rather than a single modality approach.


Pericardial disease Magnetic resonance imaging Computed tomography Imaging 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflicts 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.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mouaz H. Al-Mallah
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
  • Fatimah Almasoudi
    • 1
  • Mohamed Ebid
    • 1
  • Amjad M. Ahmed
    • 1
    • 2
  • Abdelrahman Jamiel
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.King Abdulaziz Cardiac Center, King Abdulaziz Medical CityMinistry of National Guard - Health AffairsRiyadhSaudi Arabia
  2. 2.King Saud bin Abdulaziz University for Health SciencesRiyadhSaudi Arabia
  3. 3.King Abdullah International Medical Research CenterRiyadhSaudi Arabia
  4. 4.Division Head, Cardiac Imaging, King Abdulaziz Cardiac Center, King Abdulaziz Medical City for National GuardKing Saud bin Abdulaziz University for Health SciencesRiyadhSaudi Arabia

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