Pericardial Disease Clinic in Minnesota Overview

Staff in the Pericardial Disease Clinic at Mayo Clinic in Minnesota evaluates and manages treatment for various conditions related to the pericardium, the thin sac-like membrane that surrounds the heart. Pericarditis is the general term used to describe swelling and irritation of the pericardium.

Pericardial diseases evaluated and treated at the clinic include recurrent pericarditis, pericardial effusion, constrictive pericarditis, congenital absence of the pericardium and pericardial cysts.

Pericardial diseases are relatively common and usually related to another underlying condition. Pericardial diseases can be hard to diagnose and are often mistaken for other diseases. Selection of a wrong strategy may even prolong the duration of pericardial diseases.

Because of this, it's important that you're carefully evaluated by doctors trained in heart conditions (cardiologists) to determine the possible cause and to receive a proper treatment.

Pericardial Disease Clinic team

The Pericardial Disease Clinic team has extensive experience in clinical research and treatment of pericardial diseases. Surgical removal of the pericardium (pericardiectomy) is usually required for constrictive pericarditis and may also be used for recurrent pericarditis that can't be managed medically.

Staff at Mayo Clinic performs more than 100 pericardiectomy procedures each year. In addition to performing surgery, team members study and use medical imaging techniques that can reduce the need for surgical procedures in some people.

When seeking care at Mayo, people are initially seen by a cardiologist trained in pericardial diseases. If necessary, people are also evaluated and managed by doctors trained in radiology, cardiac catheterization, rheumatology, infectious diseases, pulmonary medicine, immunology, oncology and cardiothoracic surgery.

Tradition of innovative clinical research

Mayo Clinic is a leader in clinical research in the diagnosis and management of pericardial diseases.

Noninvasive and invasive diagnostic criteria for constrictive pericarditis have been developed at Mayo. And Mayo researchers pioneered a procedure to remove and drain the excess fluid from the pericardial cavity (pericardiocentesis), which has reduced mortality and morbidity related to the procedure.

Several types of cardiac imaging (computerized tomography, nuclear imaging and magnetic resonance imaging) have been extensively studied for their proper use in pericardial diseases.

For people with pericardial disease, the research tradition means in-depth expertise from doctors studying new diagnostic procedures and treatments.

Staff in the clinic is also involved in clinical trials for what may become future treatment options. People have ongoing access to clinical trials and new research in possible treatments for pericardial diseases.

The Mayo Clinic Pericardial Disease Clinic has been the leader in developing the international consortium for pericardial disease and its database to understand the natural history, optimal treatment and geographical variation of various pericardial diseases in the world.


You may be referred by your primary doctor, or you may make an appointment without a referral. Not all services may be available at all locations. Please confirm when you request an appointment.