Friday, December 02, 2011

Diagnosis and treatment of pericardial effusion

G Ralph Corey, MD
Ralph Shabetai, MD

UpToDate performs a continuous review of over 375 journals and other resources. Updates are added as important new information is published. The literature review for version 15.1 is current through December 2006; this topic was last changed on January 10, 2007. The next version of UpToDate (15.2) will be released in June 2007.

INTRODUCTION โ€” Pericardial effusion can develop in patients with acute pericarditis or may be seen as an incidental and silent finding in a variety of systemic disorders. It may have important implications for prognosis (as in patients with intrathoracic neoplasm), for diagnosis (as in myopericarditis or acute pericarditis), or for both (as in dissection of the ascending aorta).

A general overview of the diagnosis and treatment of pericardial effusion will be presented here. Issues related to specific causes of pericardial effusion (eg, neoplasm, bacterial infection, tuberculosis, postmyocardial infarction) are discussed separately in the appropriate topic reviews. The evaluation and management of acute pericarditis is also discussed separately. (See "Evaluation and management of acute pericarditis") Read more...

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