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Pericardial diseases are relatively common in clinical practice and may have different presentations either as isolated disease or as a manifestation of a systemic disorder.

Although the aetiology is varied and complex, the pericardium has a relatively non-specific response to these different causes with inflammation of the pericardial layers and possible increased production of pericardial fluid. Chronic inflammation with fibrosis and calcification can lead to a rigid, usually thickened and calcified pericardium, with possible progression to pericardial constriction.

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