Pericardial involvement in end-stage renal disease

Am J Med Sci. 2003 Apr;325(4):228-36. doi: 10.1097/00000441-200304000-00009.


Pericardial involvement in end-stage renal disease (ESRD) is manifested most commonly as acute uremic or dialysis pericarditis and infrequently as chronic constrictive pericarditis. The causes of uremic and dialysis pericarditis remain uncertain. The clinical and laboratory manifestations of acute pericarditis, pericardial effusion, cardiac tamponade, and constrictive pericarditis in patients with chronic renal failure are similar to those observed in nonuremic patients with similar pericardial involvement, except that chest pain occurs less frequently in those with ESRD. Therapeutic interventions for acute uremic or dialysis pericarditis with or without pericardial effusion include intensive hemodialysis, pericardiocentesis (infrequently used), pericardiostomy with or without instillation of intrapericardial glucocorticoids, pericardial window, and pericardiectomy. Chronic constrictive pericarditis is treated with pericardiectomy.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal / therapeutic use
  • Glucocorticoids / therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / physiopathology*
  • Kidney Transplantation
  • Pericarditis / etiology
  • Pericarditis / pathology
  • Pericarditis / physiopathology*
  • Pericarditis / therapy
  • Pericardium / surgery
  • Renal Dialysis
  • Uremia / complications


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal
  • Glucocorticoids