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Objective: Clinical and echocardiographic features of significant pericardial effusion (PE) have been reported from the west. Currently there is lack of published data from this part of the world, we reviewed all consecutive cases of significant PE requiring echocardiographic assisted pericardiocentesis to analyze the clinical and echocardiographic features of these patients.Methods: Forty four consecutive patients who underwent echocardiography assisted pericardiocentesis at the Aga Khan University Hospital (AKUH) between January 1988 and May 2001" re included in this review.Results: Most common presenting symptoms were dyspnea (89%) and fever (36%). Elevated JVP and pulsus paradoxus were documented in 59% and 41% of patients respectively. Sinus tachycardia (75%) and low voltage (34%) were the most common ECG findings. Malignancy (45-51%) and tuberculosis (27%) were among the most frequent causes of PE. One patient died during echocardiography-assisted pericardiocentesis.CONCLUSION: The symptoms and physical findings of haemodynamically significant PE are frequently nonspecific. Transthoracic echocardiography is the gold standard for rapid and confirmatory diagnosis of PE and cardiac tamponade. The most common cause of PE was malignancy followed by tuberculosis. Pericardiocentesis under echocardiographic guidance is a safe and effective treatment for significant PE.

Publication (Name of Journal)

Journal of Pakistan Medical Association

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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Cardiology Commons