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Pericardial Effusion Treatment and Medication

Symptoms and Causes Diagnosis and Tests Management and Treatment will be discussed in Pericardial Effusion Treatment and Medication article.

What is pericardial effusion?

A pericardial flow is more fluid between the heart and the sac around the heart, which is called the pericardium. Most are not harmful, but they can sometimes hurt the heart.

The pericardium is a hard, folded sac. When your heart beats, it slips easily. Typically, 2 to 3 tablespoons are between two layers of the clear, yellow pericardial fluid sac. That fluid helps your heart move easily inside the bag.

If you have pericardial effusion, too much fluid sits there. Small ones can contain up to 100 ml of fluid. Very large people can have more than 2 liters.


How much pericardial effusion serious?

The severity of the condition depends on the underlying cause, size, and flow rate – and whether it can be treated effectively. Causes that can be treated or controlled, such as an infection caused by a virus or heart disease, allow the patient to be treated effectively and free of pericardial effusions.

Other conditions, such as pericardial effusion caused by cancer, are very serious and should be diagnosed and treated immediately.

In addition, rapid accumulation of fluid in the pericardium can cause cardiac tamponade, severe compression of the heart, which impairs its ability to function. Cardiac tamponade can be fatal as a result of pericardial effusion.

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Causes of pericardial effusion

In most cases, inflammation of the bladder, a condition called pericarditis, leads to a runny nose. As it swells, more fluid is produced.

Viral infections are a major cause of inflammation and its consequences. These infections include:

  • Cytomegalovirus
  • HIV Infection
  • Lupus
  • Tuberculosis
  • Coxsackieviruses
  • Echoviruses

Other conditions that also fall in the case category

  • Cancer
  • Injury to the sac or heart from a medical procedure
  • Heart attack
  • uremia
  • Autoimmune disease (lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, and others)
  • Bacterial infections, including tuberculosis

What are the symptoms of pericardial effusion?

Many patients with a small pericardial effusion have no symptoms. This condition is most often found on a chest x-ray, CT scan or echocardiogram that was done for some other reason. Initially, the pericardium may expand to accommodate excess fluid buildup. Therefore, signs and symptoms may not be present until a large amount of fluid has accumulated over time. If symptoms do occur, they can be the result of compression of surrounding structures, such as the lungs, abdomen, or Frank’s nerves (the nerves that connect to the diaphragm). Symptoms can also be caused by diastolic heart failure (heart failure which occurs because the heart is unable to rest normally between each contraction due to excess compression). Symptoms of pericardial fusion include:

  • Chest pressure or pain
  • Abdominal fullness
  • Difficulty in swallowing
  • Shortness of breath
  • Nausea

Symptoms of cardiac tamponade due to pericardial fusion include

  • Blue tinge to the lips and skin
  • Shock
  • Change in mental status


Because they often do not cause symptoms, they are often discovered after routine test results are abnormal. These tests may include:

Physical examination: 

A doctor may hear abnormal sounds in the heart that may suggest inflammation. However, physiological paracetamol phenomena cannot be detected in general.

Electrocardiogram (EKG):

Electrodes placed on your chest detect the electrical activity of the heart. Certain patterns on the EKG may indicate pericardial effusion or inflammation that leads to it.

Chest X-ray film:

One’s heart can belong. This is a sign of pericardial effusion.

If anyone is in doubt, the best test to confirm this is an echocardiogram (ultrasound of the heart) because your doctor can easily see any excess fluid.

Once the flow is identified, its size and intensity are known. Most of the time, it is small and does not cause any serious problems. If it is large, it can constrict your heart and stop its ability to pump blood. This condition, called cardiac tamponade, is potentially fatal.

To find out the cause of pericardial effusion, your doctor may take a sample of pericardial fluid. In this procedure, called pericardiocentesis, a doctor inserts a needle into your pericardial flow through your chest and takes a small amount of fluid.

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How pericardial effusion treated?

It depends on the severity and the cause. Small ones that have no symptoms and are for known reasons (for example, kidney failure) do not need any special treatment. For pericardial effusion caused by inflammation of the sac, the treatment of inflammation also treats fusion.

  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), like Aleve, Indocin, and Motrin
  • Corticosteroids, like prednisone and Solu-Medrol
  • Colchicine (Colcrys)

If there is a severe infection or heart failure (cardiac tamponade), the excess fluid should be removed immediately. Drainage is done in two ways.


If there is a severe infection or heart failure (cardiac tamponade), the excess fluid should be removed immediately. Drainage is done in two ways.

Pericardiectomy or pericardial window:

A surgeon makes an incision in the chest, reaches out, and cuts off part of the pericardium. This drains the pericardial flow and prevents it from returning to normal. This procedure requires general anesthesia and is riskier than pericardiocentesis.

Pericardial effusions that are 3 months or older are called chronic. Often, no reason is known. They are monitored without any treatment. If you have such symptoms or your heart is being damaged, drainage is usually done.

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