An unusual cause of refractory ascites with cirrhosis

Nikhil Mehra, Poonam Sherwani


Reports of chronic constrictive pericarditis presenting with hepatomegaly, cirrhosis and ascites but no cardiac symptoms are rare. A 10 year old child presented with refractory ascites and firm hepatomegaly of 2 years duration which partially responded to diuretics. Doppler study showed dilated hepatic veins and inferior vena cava and ruled out hepatic venous outflow tract obstruction. Chest X ray showed pericardial calcification and 2D Echo was suggestive of chronic constrictive pericarditis. A diagnosis of chronic calcified constrictive pericarditis with cirrhosis and refractory ascites was made. Based on previous series which showed that tuberculosis is the most common cause of constrictive pericarditis, tuberculosis as the cause of constrictive pericarditis was kept. Anti tuberculous treatment as per Revised National Tuberculosis Control Program guidelines was started along with oral steroids and diuretics. Child showed response to the treatment and was later referred to cardiac surgery department for further management (pericardectomy).  


Chronic constrictive pericarditis, Pericardial calcification, Refractory ascites, Tuberculosis

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