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Severe Calcific Chronic Constrictive Pericarditis as an Unexpected Cause of Death

An Autopsy Case

Boussaid, Marwa MD*†‡; Mesrati, Mohamed Amin MD*†‡; Mahjoub, Yosra MD*†‡; Limem, Hiba MD*†‡; Ben Abdeljalil, Nouha MD†‡; Zakhama, Abdelfatteh MD†‡; Aissaoui, Abir MD*†‡

The American Journal of Forensic Medicine and Pathology: March 30, 2019 - Volume Publish Ahead of Print - Issue - p
doi: 10.1097/PAF.0000000000000478
Case Report: PDF Only

Chronic calcific constrictive pericarditis is a rare condition. It can cause severe morbidity and even mortality. The diagnosis may be difficult to establish due to its variable clinical signs. We report an autopsy case of a 54-year-old male with a past medical history of well treated hypertension, diabetes and dyspnea present of 2 weeks, who was discovered dead in his bed. The postmortem examination showed a large band of calcification of the pericardium with obliteration of the pericardial space. Both pericardium and epicardium were thickened with bread-and-butter appearance. Microscopic examination showed thickened pericadium which is formed by a fibrous paucicellular tissue containing extensive basophilic calcifications.

From the *Department of Forensic Medicine, University Hospital Tahar Sfar of Mahdia, Mahdia;

Department of Pathology, University Hospital Fattouma Bourguiba of Monastir; and

Faculty of Medicine, University of Monastir, Monastir, Tunisia.

Manuscript received November 17, 2018; accepted February 5, 2019.

The authors report no conflict of interest.

Reprints: Abir Aissaoui, MD, Faculty of Medicine of Monastir- University of Monastir, Department of Legal Medicine, Research Laboratory LR-12-SP, Taher Sfar Teaching Hospital, 5100 Mahdia, Tunisia. E-mail:

© 2019 by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.