Multimodality Imaging of Pericardial Diseases

Mouaz H. Al-Mallah, Fatimah Almasoudi, Mohamed Ebid, Amjad M. Ahmed, Abdelrahman Jamiel

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number89
JournalCurrent Treatment Options in Cardiovascular Medicine
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1 2017


  • Computed tomography
  • Imaging
  • Magnetic resonance imaging
  • Pericardial disease

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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