BLOCK 13: Pericardial Disease & Thoracic Aorta
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Learning Objectives By Lesson
Pericardial Anatomy & Physiology
  • Describe the basic pericardial anatomy
  • List pericardial effusion factors that can influence its hemodynamic effects
  • Describe the echocardiographic assessment of pericardial effusions
  • Describe the effect of normal respiratory variation during inspiration and expiration on ventricular filling
  • Define pulsus paradoxus
Pericardial Tamponade
  • Describe the physiology of cardiac tamponade
  • Describe echocardiographic features associated with pericardial tamponade
Pericardial Constriction
  • Identify etiologies associated with pericardial constriction
  • Describe the pathophysiology of pericardial constriction
  • Describe 2D echocardiographic features associated with pericardial constriction
  • Describe Doppler echocardiographic features associated with pericardial constriction
  • Describe expected hemodynamic findings seen in pericardial constriction
  • Explain how the evaluation of pericardial constriction changes in the setting of atrial fibrillation
  • Describe the pathophysiology of effusive constrictive pericarditis and the importance of the diagnosis
  • Describe how to differentiate constrictive pericarditis and restrictive cardiomyopathy
Thoracic Aorta
  • List and define the aortic segments
  • Describe the orientation of aortic flow in obtaining aortic measurements
  • Define aortic aneurysmal disease and its classification
  • Describe the different varieties of acute aortic syndrome
  • Describe the classification of aortic dissection and its importance from a clinical standpoint
  • Describe grading of aortic atherosclerosis
  • Identify complications from aortic atherosclerotic disease
  • Describe sinus of Valsalva aneurysm and its potential complications
Contributors: Nandan Anavekar, MBBCh; Abdullah Al-abcha, MD; Muhannad Aboud Abbasi, MBBCh; Anthony Kashou, MD
Last updated: July 2023.

GCU Education Team
Physician Educators