Open Access Articles- Top Results for Pericardial Effusion
Journal of Clinical & Experimental CardiologyPericardial Effusion in the Setting of Takosubo Cardiomyopathy
Journal of Neonatal BiologySpontaneous Remission in Congenital Leukemia AML-M1 with Pericardial Effusion
Journal of Cytology & HistologyA Case of Cytology of Pericardial Effusion which has a Metastasis Adenocarcinoma
Journal of General PracticeSimvastatin-Induced Pleuro-Pericardial Effusion and Megaloblastic Anemia
Journal of Clinical & Experimental CardiologyPericardial Angiosarcoma: An Elusive Diagnosis
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A 2D transthoracic Echocardiogram of pericaridal effusion. The Swinging Heart
|Classification and external resources|
|Patient UK||Pericardial effusion|
Pericardial effusion ("fluid around the heart") is an abnormal accumulation of fluid in the pericardial cavity. Because of the limited amount of space in the pericardial cavity, fluid accumulation leads to an increased intrapericardial pressure which can negatively affect heart function. A pericardial effusion with enough pressure to adversely affect heart function is called cardiac tamponade. Pericardial effusion usually results from a disturbed equilibrium between the production and re-absorption of pericardial fluid, or from a structural abnormality that allows fluid to enter the pericardial cavity.
Normal levels of pericardial fluid are from 15 to 50 mL.
It may be:
- transudative (congestive heart failure, myxoedema, nephrotic syndrome),
- exsudative (tuberculosis, spread from empyema)
- hemorrhagic (trauma, rupture of aneurysms, malignant effusion).
- malignant (due to fluid accumulation caused by metastasis)
Signs and symptoms
Chest pain or pressure are common symptoms. A small effusion may be asymptomatic. Larger effusions may cause cardiac tamponade, a life-threatening complication; signs of impending tamponade include dyspnea, low blood pressure, and distant heart sounds.
The so-called "water-bottle heart" is a radiographic sign of pericardial effusion, in which the cardiopericardial silhouette is enlarged and assumes the shape of a flask or water bottle.
- Long term usage of cabergoline ingredient (dopamine agonists)
- Viral infection (coxsackie virus)
- Drug Eluting Stents
- Inflammatory disorders, such as lupus, rheumatoid arthritis and post myocardial infarction pericarditis (Dressler's syndrome)
- Cancer that has spread to the pericardium
- Kidney failure with excessive blood levels of urea nitrogen
- Heart surgery (postpericardotomy syndrome)
- Clogged Chest tube after heart surgery, leading to retained blood complications
A CT scan image showing a pericaridal effusion
- Hemorragic effusion.jpg
A very large hemorrhagic pericardial effusion due to malignancy as seen on ultrasound. closed arrow: the heart, open arrow: the effusion
Pericardial effusion due to malignancy. Note bulbous heart and primary lung cancer in right upper lobe.
- Electrical Alternans.JPG
An ECG showing electrical alternans in a person with a pericardial effusion.
A pericardial effusion due to pericarditis
Treatment depends on the underlying cause and the severity of the heart impairment. Pericardial effusion due to a viral infection usually goes away within a few weeks without treatment. Some pericardial effusions remain small and never need treatment. If the pericardial effusion is due to a condition such as lupus, treatment with anti-inflammatory medications may help. If the effusion is compromising heart function and causing cardiac tamponade, it will need to be drained, most commonly by a needle inserted through the chest wall and into the pericardial space called pericardiocentesis. A drainage tube is often left in place for several days. In some cases, surgical drainage may be required by cutting through the pericardium creating a pericardial window.
- Pericardial Disease Cleveland Clinic Online Medical Reference