Pericardial effusion

ICDO =
OMIM =
MedlinePlus =
eMedicineSubj = med
eMedicineTopic = 1786
MeshID = D010490

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 will lead to an increased intrapericardial pressure and this can negatively affect heart function. When there is a pericardial effusion with enough pressure to adversely affect heart function, this 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.

Types

It may be "transudative" (congestive heart failure, myxoedema, nephrotic syndrome), "exudative" (tuberculosis, spread from empyema) or "haemorrhagic" (trauma, rupture of aneuryms, malignant effusion).

Causes

*Pericarditis
*Viral infection(coxsackie virus)
*Infection
*Inflammatory disorders, such as lupus and post myocardial infarction pericarditis (Dressler's syndrome)
*Cancer that has spread to the pericardium
*Trichinosis
*Kidney failure with excessive blood levels of urea nitrogen
*Heart surgery [ [http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/pericardial-effusion/HQ01198 Pericardial effusion:What are the symptoms?] , Dr. Martha Grogan M.D.]

ymptoms

Chest pain, pressure symptoms. A small effusion may have no symptoms.

Pericardial effusion is also present after a specific type of heart defect repair. An Atrial Septal Defect Secundum, or ASD, when repaired will most likely produce a pericardial effusion due to one of the methods of repair. One repair method of an ASD is to take a piece of the peridcardial tissue and use it as a patch for the hole in the atrial cavity.

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.

It can be associated with Ewart's sign.cite web |url=http://www.clevelandclinicmeded.com/medicalpubs/diseasemanagement/cardiology/pericardial/pericardial.htm |title=Pericardial Disease |format= |work= |accessdate=]

Treatment

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. A drainage tube is often left in place for several days. In some cases, surgical drainage may be required by pericardiocentesis, in which a needle, and sometimes a catheter are used to drain excess fluid.

References


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Pericardial effusion — Too much fluid within the fibrous sac (the pericardium) that surrounds the heart. The inner surface of the pericardium is lined by a layer of flat cells (mesothelial cells). The pericardial sac normally contains a small amount of fluid which acts …   Medical dictionary

  • pericardial effusion — An abnormal collection of fluid inside the sac that covers the heart …   English dictionary of cancer terms

  • Pericardial fluid — is secreted by the serous membrane on the pericardious sac on the outside of the heart. The pericardial cavity contains between 15 and 50ml of pericardial fluid. It is similar to the serous fluid that is found in the brain for cushioning and… …   Wikipedia

  • Effusion, pericardial — Too much fluid within the fibrous sac (the pericardium) that surrounds the heart. The inner surface of the pericardium is lined by a layer of flat cells (mesothelial cells) that normally secrete a small amount of fluid which acts as a lubricant… …   Medical dictionary

  • Effusion (disambiguation) — In chemistry, Effusion is the process of gases passing through a small hole (see this article). The word effusion has several other meanings.*In literature, effusion is the process of opening the flood gates to one s emotions, so to speak. *In… …   Wikipedia

  • Pericardial — Referring to the pericardium, the sac of fibrous tissue that surrounds the heart. The inner surface of the pericardium is lined by a layer of flat cells (mesothelial cells). The pericardial sac normally contains a small amount of fluid which acts …   Medical dictionary

  • effusion — 1. The escape of fluid from the blood vessel s or lymphatics into the tissues or a cavity. 2. A collection of the fluid effused. [L. effusio, a pouring out] complex pleural e. a pleural e. without actual infection but with signs of a high …   Medical dictionary

  • pericarditis with effusion — pericardial inflammation associated with the collection of a serous or purulent exudate in the pericardial cavity …   Medical dictionary

  • postirradiation pericarditis — pericardial inflammation, acute or chronic, resulting from high dose radiotherapy, often beginning as exudative effusion with fibrin deposits and sometimes progressing to chronic pericardial effusion or constrictive pericarditis. It may present… …   Medical dictionary

  • Acute pericarditis — is an inflammation of the sac surrounding the heart the pericardium usually lasting < 6 weeks. It is by far the most common condition affecting the pericardium. CausesAccording to a recent article cite journal | author= Maisch B, Ristic AD |… …   Wikipedia


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.