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Table 1 The role of imaging modalities in various pericardial disorders

From: The imaging appearances of various pericardial disorders

   Roentgenogram CT MRI
Absence of the pericardium Interposed lung tissue ++ +++ +++
Diminished right cardiac border ++ * *
Levorotation of heart + +++ +++
Pericardial discontinuity ++ +++
Pneumopericardium Imaging-based diagnosis + +++ **
Revealing the underlying cause +++ **
Pericardial fluid collection Imaging-based diagnosis + +++ +++
Discrimination of fluid content ++ +++
Revealing the underlying cause + ++ ++
Revealing the pericardial thickening ++ +++
Erdheim-Chester disease Discrimination of involvement ++ +++
Pericardial calcification Revealing the burden of involvement + +++ ++
Revealing the compressive effect to heart chambers + +++ +++
Pericardial masses Discrimination of cystic/solid/fat/calcific content ++ +++
Hydatid disease Imaging-based diagnosis ++ +++
Revealing the association between cardiac chambers ++ +++
Revealing the presence of daughter cysts/floated membrane ++ +++
Medical devices Drainage catheters ++ +++ +++
Temporary epicardial pacing ++ +++ ***
Pericardial patch ++a ++a
Fat necrosis Imaging-based diagnosis ++b +++c
Foreign body Imaging-based diagnosis + +++ +a
  1. *Apparent on coronal view
  2. **MRI is usually not performed due to need for urgent intervention
  3. ***May induce artifact
  4. aDepends on the substance
  5. bSubtle form of inflammation could be overlooked on CT
  6. cFindings may vary in correlation with the stages of fat necrosis