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A 39-year-old member asked:

what is the benefits of having the heart enclosed in a sac that has pericardium?

2 doctor answers6 doctors weighed in
Dr. Samuel Hahn
Cardiology 28 years experience
RV strain: My personal opinion is that the pericardium serves to protect the heart inside the chest cavity but just as importantly, constrains the rv during acute overload (i.e. Sudden increase in venous return during exercise) which might cause the rv to fail.
Dr. Ibrahim Moussa
Cardiology 18 years experience
Many : The pericardium isolates the heart from surrounding organs, prevents the heart from over expanding when blood volume increases, limits heart motion, and keeps a small amount of fluid around the heart that severs as a lubricant which reduces friction with surrounding tissue as the heart beats.

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A 33-year-old member asked:

How does the pericardium improve the efficiency of the heart?

2 doctor answers6 doctors weighed in
Dr. Alon Gitig
Cardiology 20 years experience
By not interfering: A healthy pericardium is a very flexible, thin tissue that is "just there." it generally serves little purpose, other than to allow the chambers of the heart to expand outwards in a normal fashion, without resistance, as they fill with blood. If pericardium becomes inflamed, thickened or hardened, the heart loses this outward mobility, and pressure rises greatly as the heart tries to fill.

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Last updated Aug 23, 2016
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