Pericardiocentesis assisted by two-dimensional echocardiography was performed in 40 patients with effusions of various types and causes; no complications occurred. This approach combines several advantages, including visualization of the fluid-filled sac and determination of its location, estimation of the amount of fluid, and identification of structures intervening between the body surface and the pericardial sac (for example, the liver). The ideal point of needle entry can be selected to avoid contact with the heart and can be marked on the body wall. This method combines the safety and visibility of the open (surgical) approach with the simplicity of the direct ('blind') puncture method. Locating the optimal point on the body wall, closest to the pericardial fluid, allows a short, plastic-sheathed needle to be used. Pericardiocentesis by this method can be performed with ease and safety.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine