pericardial effusion

Condition Uncommon
Description
<b>Pericardial effusion is also known as <a href="#topics/Blood-around-the-heart">Blood around the heart</a></b>. An effusion is a fluid collection around the heart. The heart sits in a sac called the pericardium. Fluid can accumulate in this sac for various reasons (infection, inflammatory processes - SLE, kidney disease, cancer).
Authored by Dr. John P. Breinholt

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Dr. Dan E. Fisher answered:

What is a pericardial effusion?

Fluid around heart

Cardiac
Heart muscle is covered by very thin layer of tissue called epicardium. Further surrounded by very thin partially distensible sac called pericardium. Space between epi- and peri- cardium always contains small amount of lubricating fluid. Epi or pericardium can become inflammed or fluid can leak into this space. When fluid accumulates and becomes detectable it is an "effusion."
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How are pericardial effusion and overloading related?

Overloading?

Heart
I do not quite understand what you mean by overloading? Did someone state that you have cardiac congestion?
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Is there treatment for trivial pericardial effusion?

trivial effusion

Pleural_effusion
the treatment for trivial pericardial effusion is diagnosis and observation
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Trivial pericardial effusion. Is it serious?

Unlikely

Pericardial_effusion
It is normal to have a small amount of pericardial fluid present. Current imaging techniques are more sensitive and therefore it is seen more frequently.
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Pericardial effusion? Treat with diuretic?

Pericardial effusion

Pericardial_effusion
If pericardial effusion is part of systemic fluid overload (anasarca) or as a result of renal failure (uremic) diuresis might be helpful. If the effusion, however, is large and compression prevents ventricular filling, then diuretics could make things worse, by reducing the preload and depressing ventricular filling even more.
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Dr. Liviu Klein answered:

Does echocardiogram show pericardial effusion?

Yes

Pericardial_effusion
Echocardiogram is a very reliable and safe way to assess presence of a pericardial effusion.
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What are the symptoms of worsening pericardial effusion, which was previously small?

Shortness of breath

Pericardial_effusion
why are you having pericardial effusion to start with -- being so young? was it infection? or connective tissue disease?
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Can you fly after a pericardial effusion?

Flight

Pleural_effusion
If the pericardial effusion has resolved, flying likely ok. If it is still present, not a good idea to fly.
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Dr. Dan E. Fisher answered:

What meds do they give for pericardial effusion?

NSAIDS

Pericardial_effusion
Most common cause of effusion is inflammation of epi or pericardium. Best treatment is generally anti inflammatory agents. Could use steroids, but usual treatment is non steroidal agents typically indomethacin although I believe any NSAID at equivalent dose is likely as effective.
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