Constrictive pericarditis 5 months after radiation therapy in a 62-year-old woman with esophageal cancer

Beeletsega T. Yeneneh, Sorcha Allen, Prasad Panse, Farouk Mookadam, William Rule

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Most pericardial changes appear within a few weeks in patients who have undergone radiation therapy for thoracic neoplasms. Chronic pericardial constriction typically occurs decades later, consequent to fibrosis. Early constrictive pericarditis after chest irradiation is quite rare. We report the case of a 62-year-old woman who underwent radiation therapy for esophageal cancer and presented with constrictive pericarditis 5 months later. We searched the English-language medical literature from January 1986 through December 2015 for reports of early constrictive pericarditis after irradiation for thoracic malignancies. We defined “early” as a diagnosis within one year after radiation therapy. Five cases fit our criteria, and we summarize the findings here. To our knowledge, ours is the first definitive report of a patient with esophageal cancer to present with early radiation-induced constrictive pericarditis. We conclude that constrictive pericarditis can occur early after radiation for thoracic malignancies, albeit rarely. When planning care for cancer patients, awareness of this sequela is helpful.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)411-415
Number of pages5
JournalTexas Heart Institute Journal
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2017


  • Constrictive/diagnosis/ etiology/pathology/therapy
  • Dose-response relationship
  • Heart/ radiation effects
  • High-energy/ adverse effects
  • Patient care planning
  • Pericarditis
  • Radiation
  • Radiation injuries/etiology
  • Radiotherapy
  • Thoracic neoplasms/radiotherapy
  • Time factors
  • Treatment outcome

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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