Imaging of Pericardial Disease

Radiol Clin North Am. 2019 Jan;57(1):179-199. doi: 10.1016/j.rcl.2018.09.001.


Although the pericardium is simply a 2-layered membrane enveloping the heart and great vessels, there are numerous anatomic variations, congenital anomalies, and pathologic conditions that can occur. Although echocardiography is most often the first imaging modality used to assess the pericardium, computed tomography and MR imaging are frequently being used to aid in diagnosis and assess response to therapy. Therefore, detailed knowledge of the pericardium in both its normal and diseased states is important to best direct patient care and potentially improve patient outcomes.

Keywords: CT; MR imaging; Pericarditis; Pericardium; Radiology.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Contrast Media
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Heart Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging*
  • Humans
  • Image Enhancement
  • Image Interpretation, Computer-Assisted
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods*
  • Pericardial Effusion / diagnostic imaging*
  • Pericarditis / diagnostic imaging*
  • Pericardium / abnormalities*
  • Pericardium / pathology*
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed / methods*


  • Contrast Media