Pericarditis is defined as inflammation of the pericardium. It is normally found in association with cardiac, thoracic or wider systemic pathology and it is unusual to manifest on its own.

In general, infection is the most common cause of pericarditis. Infection accounts for two-thirds of cases while noninfectious causes account for the remaining one-third 9.

Pericarditis can be divided into subtypes according to morphology:

At contrast-enhanced CT, enhancement of the thickened pericardium generally indicates inflammation 1.

Usually T1, T2 and GRE cine sequences are performed.  

The normal pericardial thickness is considered 2 mm while a thickness of over 4 mm suggests a pericarditis 1,2.  The presence of an arrhythmia may induce artefacts.

For specific features please refer to subtype articles. 

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Article information

rID: 8008
System: Cardiac
Section: Gamuts
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • Pericarditis - general

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Cases and figures

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    Case 1: on ultrasound
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