Case contributed by Vincent Tatco
Diagnosis almost certain


Exercise intolerance and dyspnea with recurrent pleural effusions

Patient Data

Age: 35 years
Gender: Female

There is heterogeneously enhancing, diffuse, nodular pericardial thickening consistent with an infective/inflammatory pericarditis. The thickest pericardial rind measures 1.3 cm. The heart is not enlarged. Marked dilatation of the inferior vena cava is present despite the absence of cardiac chamber dilatation.

The liver demonstrates patchy heterogeneous enhancement which in addition to a dilated inferior vena cava is suggestive of passive liver congestion.  Incidentally, dilated jugular veins are seen. These findings are suggestive of constrictive pericarditis.

Bilateral pleural effusion, more in the right, and scattered areas of pleural thickening are demonstrated. There is atelectasis in the right middle and both lower lobes of the lungs. Fibrosis is seen in both upper lobes.

Multiple enlarged paratracheal, subaortic, subcarinal, prevascular and internal mammary lymph nodes are seen.

There is an aberrant right subclavian artery.  

Case Discussion

This is a case of pericarditis diagnosed on computed tomography. Infection remains the most common cause of pericarditis, accounting for two-thirds of cases. Noninfectious causes account for one-third of cases.

How to use cases

You can use Radiopaedia cases in a variety of ways to help you learn and teach.

Creating your own cases is easy.

Updating… Please wait.

 Unable to process the form. Check for errors and try again.

 Thank you for updating your details.