Chronic Constrictive Pericarditis. (a Study Of 51 Cases At Kenyatta National Hospital(KNH)
Omboga, Peter N
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Chronic constrictive pericarditis is easily confused with other diseases, and the condition may be missed for periods of anything from many months to many years. In our environment it is still a relatively Common problem among cardiac lesions. In the years 1975 to 1980 a total of 2178 cases of cardiac diseases were seen at Kenyatta National Hospital. These included endocardial, myocardial and pericardial diseases. Out of these 135(6.10%) were of pericardia.! origin. In the same period 330 patients underwent cardiac surgery. Forty seven (14.24%), of these had chronic constrictive pericarditis for which they had pericardectomy done. Like most cardiac lesions, the incidence of chronic constrictive pericarditis can be reduced appreciably by preventive measures. Once established however, the only treatment is surgical release of the constriction. The study of chronic constrictive pericarditis in our country should encompass both epidemioloqi cal and pathological dimensions. It is however possible to focus attention on modes and results of treatment end therefrom derive a very important insight Into this disease whose early diagnosis and timely surgical treatment gives excellent results in most cases To reappraise the state of the condition at Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH) 51 cases from the year 1973 - 1981, were studied, in terms of presenting features, investigations and treatment. Particular attention has been placed on features which may assist in early recognition of the condition and the effects of [ore di09no:,;s end treatment vis-a-vis the eventual recovery and return to normal activity.