Clinical and laboratory features of patients with pericardial effusion [Turk Kardiyol Dern Ars]
Turk Kardiyol Dern Ars. 2010; 38(7): 473-479

Clinical and laboratory features of patients with pericardial effusion

Hasan Ali Gümrükçüoğlu1, Aytaç Akyol1, Mustafa Tuncer2, Yılmaz Güneş2, Hüseyin Beğenik3, Serkan Akdağ2, Musa Şahin2, Hakkı Şimşek2, Mehmet Ağırbaşlı4
1Van High Education and Research Hospital, Cardiology Department, Van, Turkey
2Yuzuncu Yil University, Faculty of Medicine, Cardiology Department, Van, Turkey
3Yuzuncu Yil University, Faculty of Medicine, Internal Medicine Department, Nephrology Division, Van, Turkey
4Marmara University, Faculty of Medicine, Cardiology Department, Istanbul, Turkey

We reviewed patients who were diagnosed to have pericardial effusion (PE) over a four-year period to determine the causes of PE, clinical and laboratory features, and treatment modalities.

Medical records of 136 patients (81 women, 55 men; mean age 55.8±18.7 years; range 8 to 90 years) admitted to our department with PE from August 2005 to August 2009 were reviewed. The diagnosis of PE was made by transthoracic echocardiography. Medical history, physical examination, electrocardiography, echocardiography, and laboratory findings and treatment methods were recorded.

The most frequent complaint was dyspnea (86.8%) and the most common physical examination finding was jugular venous distension (47.1%). The most common electrocardiographic and echocardiographic findings were tachycardia (47.8%) and mild PE (<1 cm) (63.2%), respectively. Chronic renal failure and malignant diseases were the primary causes of PE (25% and 22.8% respectively), followed by idiopathic cases (14%). Pericardial tamponade was detected in 34 patients (25%), of which the majority had malignant diseases (53%). Thirty-eight patients (27.9%) underwent interventional treatment (pericardiocentesis in 27, surgical drainage in 11), while 98 patients (72.1%) were followed-up with medical treatment. Mortality occurred in three patients with pericardial tamponade.

The most common causes of PE in our cases were chronic renal failure and malignancies. The incidence of malignant PE is on the incline owing to increased life expectancy. Echocardiography is the primary imaging modality for the evaluation of PE.

Keywords: Cardiac tamponade/etiology, echocardiography; kidney failure, chronic/complications; pericardial effusion/etiology; pericardiocentesis; pericarditis, tuberculous

How to cite this article
Hasan Ali Gümrükçüoğlu, Aytaç Akyol, Mustafa Tuncer, Yılmaz Güneş, Hüseyin Beğenik, Serkan Akdağ, Musa Şahin, Hakkı Şimşek, Mehmet Ağırbaşlı. Clinical and laboratory features of patients with pericardial effusion. Turk Kardiyol Dern Ars. 2010; 38(7): 473-479

Corresponding Author: Mustafa Tuncer, Türkiye
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