Pericardial effusion

Case contributed by Dr Andrew Van

Presentation

Unconscious, collapse.

Patient Data

Age: 80 years
Gender: Female
X-ray

Left pleural effusion and loss of clear definition of the left cardiac border. Right lung is unremarkable except for venous congestion.

Echocardiogram suggested to exclude pericardial effusion.

CT

A pericardial effusion measuring 12mm in maximum diameter is present. There are small bibasal pleural effusions. No other focal abnormality is noted within the mediastinum taking into account lack of contrast.

On lung windows, there is atelectatic change in the left lung base. There is no focal area of consolidation.

Case Discussion

On the plain film it is difficult to distinguish a left sided pleural effusion from a pericardial effusion. 

The patient had persistent tachycardia and hypotension despite intravenous antibiotic coverage, fluid resuscitation and exclusion of pneumothorax and myocardial infarction.

A bedside echocardiogram was later performed which subsequently lead to the the patient having a chest CT to confirm the pericardial effusion.

PlayAdd to Share

Case information

rID: 52800
Case created: 21st Apr 2017
Last edited: 15th May 2017
Systems: Chest, Cardiac
Inclusion in quiz mode: Included

Updating… Please wait.
Loadinganimation

Alert accept

Error Unable to process the form. Check for errors and try again.

Alert accept Thank you for updating your details.