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
SHEA DW, KIRKLIN JW, DuSHANE JW. Chronic Constrictive Pericarditis in Children: Report of a Case and Observations in Seven Others. AMA Am J Dis Child. 1957;93(4):430–435. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1957.02060040432012
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