Pericardial effusion : Differential diagnostics, surveillance and treatment.

15:13 EDT 26th March 2015 | BioPortfolio

Summary of "Pericardial effusion : Differential diagnostics, surveillance and treatment."

Cardiac tamponade can be a life-threatening condition due to the high variability of clinical symptoms and the associated risk of rapid hemodynamic deterioration. Therefore, accurate diagnosis followed by immediate intervention is necessary. Common clinical features of cardiac tamponade are pulsus paradoxus, tachycardia, elevated jugular venous pressure and hypotension; however, although these can be indicative of cardiac tamponade they are non-specific. Instant confirmation of the clinical diagnosis of cardiac tamponade can be pursued with echocardiography which also enables a clear estimation of the current hemodynamic situation. Thus in contemporary clinical practice echocardiography plays a key role in the management of cardiac tamponade and must be consulted with regards to final treatment decisions. Common practice includes pericardial puncture under echocardiographic and/or X-ray guidance but only in cases of significantly sized pericardial effusions. Whenever there is a limited sized but hemodynamically significant effusion, inferior pericardiotomy should be the preferred treatment strategy. In cases of cardiac tamponade following chest trauma a full median sternotomy can be a suitable approach for surgical treatment.


Herzzentrum, Klinik für Herzchirurgie, Universität Leipzig, Strümpellstr. 39, 04289, Leipzig, Deutschland,

Journal Details

This article was published in the following journal.

Name: Der Chirurg; Zeitschrift fur alle Gebiete der operativen Medizen
ISSN: 1433-0385


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Medical and Biotech [MESH] Definitions

Fluid accumulation within the PERICARDIUM. Serous effusions are associated with pericardial diseases. Hemopericardium is associated with trauma. Lipid-containing effusion (chylopericardium) results from leakage of THORACIC DUCT. Severe cases can lead to CARDIAC TAMPONADE.

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A rare neoplasm of large B-cells usually presenting as serious effusions without detectable tumor masses. The most common sites of involvement are the pleural, pericardial, and peritoneal cavities. It is associated with HUMAN HERPESVIRUS 8, most often occurring in the setting of immunodeficiency.

A nonspecific hypersensitivity reaction caused by TRAUMA to the PERICARDIUM, often following PERICARDIOTOMY. It is characterized by PERICARDIAL EFFUSION; high titers of anti-heart antibodies; low-grade FEVER; LETHARGY; loss of APPETITE; or ABDOMINAL PAIN.

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