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Open Access Open Badges Case Report

Pericardiectomy in post-traumatic suppurative constrictive pericarditis: case report

Abiodun Oyinpreye Jasper1*, Gandhi Agbaegbe Anyanhun2, Stanley Ukadike Okugbo3 and Philomena Adudu4

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Anaesthesia, College of Health Sciences, Delta State University, Abraka Delta State, Nigeria

2 Department of Surgery, University of Benin Teaching Hospital, Benin, Nigeria

3 Department of Surgery, University of Benin Teaching Hospital, Benin, Edo State, Nigeria

4 Department of Anaesthesia, University of Benin Teaching Hospital, Benin, Edo State, Nigeria

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Cases Journal 2009, 2:9292  doi:10.1186/1757-1626-2-9292

Published: 9 December 2009


A 13-year-old male was seen at the Hospital with a 5-months history of right chest swelling, pain and recurrent fever and breathlessness on mild exertion. There was a history of gunshot to his chest two and half years before presentation.

On admission he was febrile with a temperature of 39°C. The chest wall swelling measuring 6 cm/6 cm was tender and fluctuant and needle aspiration yielded purulent fluids. His blood pressure and pulse were 110/60 mmHg (14.6/8 Kpa) and 100 per minute respectively. The chest radiograph showed massive cardiomegaly with pellets lodging in the right 5th costosternal joint. Echocardiography confirmed massive pericardial effusion. The electrocardiogram showed sinus rhythm and low voltage of QRS complexes without chamber enlargement. A diagnosis of constrictive pericarditis with purulent pericardial effusion secondary to foreign body abscess was made.

His clinical picture improved after an initial incision and drainage of the right anterior chest wall abscess under ketamine intravenous anaesthesia. Two weeks after, he had pericardiectomy under general anaesthesia using a nitrous/oxygen/halothane relaxant technique which was uneventful.