Background: Constrictive pericarditis (CP) can coexist with severe aortic stenosis (AS), especially in patients with previous mediastinal radiation. Because impaired diastolic filling by CP may aggravate hemodynamic abnormalities from severe AS, leading to very low cardiac output, concomitant AS and CP result in a critical debilitating condition and pose a challenge to therapy. Case Report: A 79-year-old woman was brought to our hospital with New York Heart Association class IV dyspnea and severe frailty (clinical frailty scale 8). She had a history of chronic constrictive pericarditis, severe aortic stenosis with reduced left ventricular systolic function (ejection fraction 40%), paroxysmal atrial fibrillation, diabetes mellitus, and radiation dermatitis complicated by a cold abscess in the anterior chest wall from previous mediastinal radiation. She continually complained of dizziness, general weakness, and dyspnea despite optimal medical treatment, and her symptoms worsened recently while bedridden. Although simultaneous surgical pericardiectomy and aortic valve replacement is curative treatment, and the surgical risk was not high (Society of Thoracic Surgery score 4.745), her other comorbidities (radiation dermatitis, cold abscess, and severe frailty) eliminated the possibility of surgical treatment. Therefore, we decided on palliative treatment for CP after performing transcatheter aortic valve implantation (TAVI) for severe AS. We could not predict how she would recover from these conditions and were concerned about the high procedural risk associated with TAVI. Indeed, the patient had cardiac arrest during the TAVI procedure, and we implanted a 31-mm CoreValve while performing cardiac massage. After the patient recovered from cardiac arrest, we safely completed the TAVI procedure with a temporary pacemaker because of complete atrioventricular block. She recovered remarkably after TAVI with permanent pacemaker implantation, and is now able to walk without support. Conclusion: Reduced diastolic filling by chronic CP aggravates hemodynamic deterioration through severe AS, leading to a very serious debilitating condition including severe frailty and decompensated heart failure. Although surgical pericardiectomy and aortic valve replacement are recommended as optimal therapy, TAVI alone can be an alternative therapeutic option if surgery is not possible.
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ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine