Haemopericardium

Dr Henry Knipe et al.

Haemopericardium refers to the presence of blood within the pericardial cavity, i.e. a sanguineous pericardial effusion. If enough blood enters the pericardial cavity, then a potentially fatal cardiac tamponade can occur. 

Pathology

Aetiology

There is a very long list of causes 1,4 but some of the more common are:

Radiographic features

Plain radiograph
  • enlargement of the cardiac silhouette may be present but chest x-rays are insensitive and nonspecific
  • the "straight left heart border" is an infrequent sign with low sensitivity (~40%) sign of haemopericardium in penetrating trauma patients 3
CT
  • pericardial effusion with a density > 35 HU 2 or that of water 4,5
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Article information

rID: 39767
System: Cardiac
Sections: Pathology, Gamuts
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • Hemopericardium

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Cases and figures

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    Case 1: from aortic dissection
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    Case 2: from aortic dissection
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    Case 3: left ventricular pseudoaneurysm
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    Case 4: post-thrombolysis
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