Cardiovascular magnetic resonance in pericardial diseases

J Cardiovasc Magn Reson. 2009 May 4;11(1):14. doi: 10.1186/1532-429X-11-14.


The pericardium and pericardial diseases in particular have received, in contrast to other topics in the field of cardiology, relatively limited interest. Today, despite improved knowledge of pathophysiology of pericardial diseases and the availability of a wide spectrum of diagnostic tools, the diagnostic challenge remains. Not only the clinical presentation may be atypical, mimicking other cardiac, pulmonary or pleural diseases; in developed countries a shift for instance in the epidemiology of constrictive pericarditis has been noted. Accurate decision making is crucial taking into account the significant morbidity and mortality caused by complicated pericardial diseases, and the potential benefit of therapeutic interventions. Imaging herein has an important role, and cardiovascular magnetic resonance (CMR) is definitely one of the most versatile modalities to study the pericardium. It fuses excellent anatomic detail and tissue characterization with accurate evaluation of cardiac function and assessment of the haemodynamic consequences of pericardial constraint on cardiac filling. This review focuses on the current state of knowledge how CMR can be used to study the most common pericardial diseases.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Heart Defects, Congenital / diagnosis
  • Heart Defects, Congenital / pathology
  • Heart Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Heart Diseases / pathology
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging*
  • Pericardium / abnormalities
  • Pericardium / pathology*
  • Predictive Value of Tests