I have recently been diagnosed with constrictive pericarditis by a cardiologist at a VA hospital but after reading about the symptoms others experience, I am not convinced that I have it.
I have a localized feeling of pressure to the left of midline which occasionally radiates down and across the midline to the right. CT scan shows moderate pulmonary effusion with some abdominal perfusion. I occasionally have edema in the calves of both legs and my abdomen but it is relieved rather quickly with Bumex. If I lie on my back, all the symptoms disappear until I sit or stand up. The pressure increases porportionally with the amout of fluids I have retained. I do not have distended juglars nor the percardial knock usually found in CP. I do tire easily and have some difficulty breathing which I assume is due to the pulmonary edema. What I remember most is that I have had this same pressure feeling and edema since I woke up from triple bypass surgery two and a half years ago. That is, it didn't develop over time but was there from the begining. On May 4, I had a left side/right side heart cath and the doctor informed me I had constrictive percarditis. He was a cardiologist but not a surgeon and referred me to the Cardiology Department at Emory University in Atlanta. I only got vague answers there about the "risks outweigh the benefits" and was referred back to the cardiology unit in Charleston. No one has ever mentioned seeing any calcification on x-rays and it wasn't mentioned in a recent CT scan. If anyone has any information that may confirm this at CP or implies it may be something else please let me know. I do have the cardinal symptoms of Class III pulmonary hypertension, however, measurements in my pulmonary arteries revealed normal pulmonary pressures. I have had echos, nuclear stress tests and pulmonary function tests and nothing was mentioned about CP until this last heart cath.
Thanks much for taking the time to read this.