Some cardiac surgeons prefer to close the pericardium whenever possible following surgery, others specifically avoid this practice, and still others believe that neither alternative has any meaningful influence on clinical outcomes. Unfortunately, scientific evidence supporting either approach is scarce, making a consensus regarding best practice impossible. In this article, the known functions of the native intact pericardium are summarized, and the arguments for and against pericardial closure after surgery are examined. In addition, the techniques and materials that have been utilized for pericardial closure previously, as well as those that are currently being developed, are assessed.
- cardiac surgery
- extracellular matrix
- pericardial closure
- pericardial substitutes
- postoperative atrial fibrillation