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April 1957

Chronic Constrictive Pericarditis in Children: Report of a Case and Observations in Seven Others

Author Affiliations

Rochester, Minn.
Fellow in Pediatrics, Mayo Foundation (Dr. Shea); Section of Surgery (Dr. Kirklin) and Section of Pediatrics (Dr. DuShane), Mayo Clinic and Mayo Foundation. The Mayo Foundation is a part of the Graduate School of the University of Minnesota.

AMA Am J Dis Child. 1957;93(4):430-435. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1957.02060040432012

Chronic constrictive pericarditis is diagnosed far less frequently in children than in adults and is particularly rare before the age of 10 years. Because the disease is so seldom encountered in pediatric practice and often presents a clinical picture seemingly unrelated to the heart and its coverings, it often poses a problem in diagnosis. On the other hand, when this entity is considered as a possible underlying cause of relatively symptomless hepatomegaly and ascites and appropriate laboratory studies are carried out the presence of the condition may be demonstrated and optimal results may be obtained from operation.

A case of constrictive pericarditis recently encountered in an 8-year-old child illustrates not only some of the clinical features of the disease and pitfalls in diagnosis but also the value of certain laboratory procedures and effects of surgical correction. A report of this case follows, and the findings in seven other cases in