Cardiac tamponade

Case contributed by Dr Chris O'Donnell


Progressive shortness of breath. Routine CTPA to exclude pulmonary embolism.

Patient Data

Age: 65 years.
Gender: Male


Large pericardial effusion with findings typical of tamponade (arrows)

Case Discussion

Tamponade, i.e. extrinsic pressure of the heart by fluid in the pericardial sac, leading to reduced right-sided heart filling, so on CTPA this is manifested by retrograde contrast filling of distended IVC (and hepatic veins) and azygos vein.  There is also extrinsic compression to the right ventricle (a low pressure system) and epicardial fat by the fluid.

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Case information

rID: 20909
Published: 20th Dec 2012
Last edited: 14th Aug 2019
System: Cardiac
Inclusion in quiz mode: Excluded

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