Cardiac tamponade is a life-threatening condition. Accurate diagnosis and prompt intervention are necessary to prevent adverse outcomes. Clinical features of tamponade such as pulsus paradoxus, tachycardia, elevated jugular venous pressure, and hypotension are important clues to the diagnosis, but are non-specific. Echocardiography allows rapid confirmation of the presence or absence of an effusion, and enables assessment of its hemodynamic impact. Decisions regarding treatment must take into account the clinical presentation and echocardiographic findings. Echocardiographically-guided pericardiocentesis with catheter drainage is the primary treatment strategy of choice for most large or hemodynamically significant effusions. In contemporary clinical practice, echocardiography is the gold standard for diagnosis of tamponade and is essential for directing treatment.
- Cardiac tamponade
- Doppler echocardiography
- Pericardial effusion
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine