Canis ISSN: 2398-2942

Pericardial cysts

Contributor(s): Serena Brownlie, Mark Rishniw

Introduction

  • Uncommon.
  • Usually single and situated either right or left of the heart.
  • Cause: congenital but may enlarge over time resulting in clinical signs in an older animal.
  • May be an incidental finding on radiographs.
  • Signs: similar to pericardial effusion.
  • Diagnosis: radiography, ultrasonography.
  • Treatment: surgery.
  • Prognosis: excellent following surgery.

Pathogenesis

Etiology

  • Suspected incarcerated omentum or falciform ligament during embryological development of the diaphragm become progressively more filled with transudate.

Pathophysiology

  • A developmental anomaly, possibly resulting from entrapment of the omentum or falciform ligament during embryological development of the diaphragm.
  • Tend to fill progressively with transudate.
  • The cysts are within the pericardium, and their increasing size results in increased pericardial pressure.
  • Diastolic pressures of the heart chambers are elevated, which compromises venous return and ventricular filling (compliance failure).
  • Right atrium and right ventricle are most susceptible (thinner walls; lower pressure system).
  • Signs of right-sided heart failure predominate.
  • Progressive enlargement of the pericardial cyst results in gradual increase of intra-pericardial pressure.
  • Eventually, pericardial pressure exceeds diastolic pressures of the heart - the right side is most susceptible (thinner walls; lower pressure system).
  • See also pericardial effusion Pericardial disease.

Timecourse

  • Slowly progressive.
  • Presentation can be at any age.
  • Once clinical signs of compliance failure have developed, deterioration is seen over weeks or months without treatment.

Diagnosis

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Treatment

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Outcomes

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Further Reading

Publications

Refereed papers

  • Recent references from PubMed and VetMedResource.
  • Simpson D J, Hunt G B, Church D B & Beck J A (1999) Benign masses in the pericardium of two dogs. Aust Vet J 77 (4), 225-229 PubMed.
  • Sisson D et al (1993) Intrapericardial cysts in the dog. JVIM 7 (6), 364-369 PubMed.

Other sources of information

  • Miller M W & Sisson D D (1995)Pericardial disorders.In:Textbook of Veterinary Internal Medicine. Eds: Ettinger S J & Feldman E C. Philadelphia: W B Saunders. pp 1032-1045.


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