Constrictive pericarditis has a few different subtypes:
- Acute. This type happens when scarring of the pericardium happens quickly, usually over a matter of days.
- Subacute. This type is like acute constrictive pericarditis, but the symptoms aren’t as severe.
- Effusive-constrictive pericarditis. This subtype causes pericardial effusion, a buildup of fluid inside the pericardium that can put too much pressure on your heart. That causes cardiac tamponade, where your heart can’t beat because fluid buildup takes up more and more space. Eventually, your heart stops because of the pressure from fluid around it. Effusive constriction happens when elevated filling pressures in the heart remain even after draining the extra fluid.
- Transient constrictive pericarditis. This type usually involves acute pericarditis that turns into inflammatory constrictive pericarditis. This is treatable with anti-inflammatory medications.
- Occult constrictive pericarditis. In medicine, the term “occult” means hidden. This type of constrictive pericarditis carries that name because it's hard to detect. Finding and diagnosing this condition usually happens by accident when running other tests.