About 10% of the patients with acute pericarditis have a transient constrictive phase which may last 2-3
months before it gradually resolves, either spontaneously or with treatment with anti-inflammatory drugs.
These patients usually have a mod-erate amount of pericardial effusion and, as the effusion resolves, the
pericardium remains thickened, inflamed and non-compliant resulting in constrictive haemo-dynamics.
Clinical features include shortness of breath, raised jugular venous pressure, peripheral oedema and
Constrictive haemodynamics can be documented by Doppler echocardiography and resolution of
constrictive physiology can be serially followed by this technique.