Constrictive pericarditis electrocardiogram

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Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1]; Associate Editor(s)-in-Chief: Huda A. Karman, M.D.


Electrocardiographic signs of constrictive chronic pericarditis are usually inconsistent and non specific. It includes left atrial enlargement, frequent atrial arrhythmias, right axis deflection, possible reduction in voltages, diffuse negative T-waves. Typical findings are normal QRS axis, low voltage, and generalized T wave flattening or inversion. Evidence of right ventricular hypertrophy or right axis deviation can present which is usually an unexplained finding (cardiac rotation and distortion), or due to the presence of severe fibrotic annular subpulmonic constriction


Electrocardiographic signs of constrictive chronic pericarditis is usually inconsistent and non specific[1]

  • Left atrial enlargement
  • Frequent atrial arrhythmias
  • Right axis deflection
  • Possible reduction in voltages
  • Diffuse negative T-waves
  • Typical (normal QRS axis, low voltage, and generalized T wave flattening or inversion)
  • Right ventricular hypertrophy
  • Right axis deviation


  1. Chesler E, Mitha AS, Matisonn RE (1976). "The ECG of constrictive pericarditis--pattern resembling right ventricular hypertrophy". Am Heart J. 91 (4): 420–4. doi:10.1016/s0002-8703(76)80321-3. PMID 1258748.