Uremic pericarditis, pericardial effusion, and constrictive pericarditis in end-stage renal disease: Insights and pathophysiology

Clin Cardiol. 2017 Oct;40(10):839-846. doi: 10.1002/clc.22770. Epub 2017 Sep 5.


A rising prevalence of end-stage renal disease (ESRD) has led to a rise in ESRD-related pericardial syndromes, calling for a better understanding of its pathophysiology, diagnoses, and management. Uremic pericarditis, the most common manifestation of uremic pericardial disease, is a contemporary problem that calls for intensive hemodialysis, anti-inflammatories, and often, drainage of large inflammatory pericardial effusions. Likewise, asymptomatic pericardial effusions can become large and impact the hemodynamics of patients on chronic hemodialysis. Constrictive pericarditis is also well documented in this population, ultimately resulting in pericardiectomy for definitive treatment. The management of pericardial diseases in ESRD patients involves internists, cardiologists, and nephrologists. Current guidelines lack clarity with respect to the management of pericardial processes in the ESRD population. Our review aims to describe the etiology, classification, clinical manifestations, diagnostic imaging tools, and treatment options of pericardial diseases in this population.

Keywords: Constrictive Pericarditis; End-Stage; Pericardial Effusion; Renal Disease; Uremic Pericarditis.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Heart / diagnostic imaging
  • Heart / physiopathology*
  • Hemodynamics
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Kidney / physiopathology*
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / diagnosis
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / epidemiology
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / physiopathology*
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / therapy
  • Pericardial Effusion / diagnostic imaging
  • Pericardial Effusion / epidemiology
  • Pericardial Effusion / physiopathology*
  • Pericardial Effusion / therapy
  • Pericarditis, Constrictive / diagnostic imaging
  • Pericarditis, Constrictive / epidemiology
  • Pericarditis, Constrictive / physiopathology*
  • Pericarditis, Constrictive / therapy
  • Prevalence
  • Risk Factors
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Uremia / diagnosis
  • Uremia / epidemiology
  • Uremia / physiopathology*
  • Uremia / therapy