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Doctor insights on: Physiologic Pericardial Effusion

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What is a pericardial effusion?

What is a pericardial effusion?

Fluid around heart: 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.". ...Read more

Dr. Thomas Fiala
93 Doctors shared insights

Pericardial Effusion (Definition)

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 - ...Read more


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What's a trivial pericardial effusion?

What's a trivial pericardial effusion?

No concern: We all have small amounts of fluid in the pericardial sac around the heart. Think of motor oil for valves in engine which lubricates surfaces ti reduce friction. If we can see this on an echocardiogram we will frequently say trivial effusion. ...Read more

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Trivial pericardial effusion. Is it serious?

Unlikely: 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. ...Read more

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How dangerous is a small pericardial effusion?

How dangerous is a small pericardial effusion?

Depends: Usually this is a benign finding, but the reason for the echocardiogram and the clinical scenario are important to answer your question. I strongly suggest you sit down with the cardiologist and ask a few questions to make sure this is nothing to worry about ...Read more

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What meds do they give for pericardial effusion?

NSAIDS: 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. ...Read more

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What does circumferential pericardial effusion mean?

What does circumferential pericardial effusion mean?

Pericardial effusion: The fluid is all around the heart (circumferential) as opposed to only at places (loculated). ...Read more

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How are pericardial effusion and overloading related?

How are pericardial effusion and overloading related?

Overloading?: I do not quite understand what you mean by overloading? Did someone state that you have cardiac congestion? ...Read more

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What can I do to treat a reoccurring pericardial effusion?

No effective treatme: Chronic recurrent pericarditis is difficult to treat. In addition to the non steroidal medicines such as Ibuprofen during the acute exacerbation, Colchicine taken daily is often recommended to reduce the frequency of attacks. ...Read more

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What is the definition or description of: pericardial effusion?

What is the definition or description of: pericardial effusion?

Definition: 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). ...Read more

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What is the difference between a trivial and a small pericardial effusion?

What is the difference between a trivial and a small pericardial effusion?

Not much: Both are insignificant amounts and can even be the same if the echoes were read by different cardiologists. Not to worry as most likely just a different choice of words. ...Read more

Dr. Jeffrey Ng Dr. Ng
1 doctor agreed:
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What are the symptoms of worsening pericardial effusion, which was previously small?

Dr. Jeffrey Ng Dr. Ng
1 doctor agreed:
What are the symptoms of worsening pericardial effusion, which was previously small?

Chest Pain: Pericardial effusion can be a problem if not monitored by your cardiologist...Chest pain, shortness of breath can happen. If so, this is a life threatening condition and needs to be treated immediately. Usually, pericardial effusions caused by viruses get better on their own. An enlarging effusion is worrisome and needs to be evaluated asap. Go see your doctor asap. ...Read more

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Can you fly after a pericardial effusion?

Flight: If the pericardial effusion has resolved, flying likely ok. If it is still present, not a good idea to fly. ...Read more

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How will pericardial effusion affect the fetus?

How will pericardial effusion affect the fetus?

Hydrops.: Fetal pericardial effusions can lead to tamponade and worsening heart failure with hydrops and fetal loss. Depending on their cause they may be amenable to fetal interventions and/or early delivery at a tertiary care center. ...Read more

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I have a small pericardial effusion. Is this life threatening?

Usually no: However, dependent on the time it took to collect the effusion, even a small effusion can be life-threatening. In other words, if the fluid collects over a short period of time, it can lead to a catastrophic event, but if it takes a long time, the heart copes with it for a while. The best way to tell what effect the fluid has, is to evaluate you with an echocardiogram. ...Read more

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Will a chronic pericardial effusion of 1.5 cm make me tired a lot?

It depends on the: Cardiac compromise caused by the effusion. The more critical question is what is causing the effusion as 90% of the diagnoses causing effusion will make you tired. Its the other diagnosis not the effusion that is important regarding your fatigue. ...Read more

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What's the difference between regurgitation and pericardial effusion?

What's the difference between regurgitation and pericardial effusion?

Big difference: Regurgitation refers to leakiness of a heart valve (we have four valve sin the heart through which blood flows into each respective chamber). However a pericardial effusion is collection of fluid in the pericardial sac between the outer heart muscle wall and pericardium ("skin around heart"). ...Read more

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I had an echo that came back and it said I have a small pericardial effusion.?

I had an echo that came back and it said I have a small pericardial effusion.?

Talk to your doc: Imagine your fist (representing your heart) pushing in one side of a balloon until the balloon (pericardium) surrounds the fist (heart). There's always a small amount of fluid between the two parts/sides of the pericardium to allow it to slide easily. With inflammation and/or injury, you can develop extra fluid known as an effusion. Talk to doctor who ordered echo b/c implications depend upon you. ...Read more

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Pericardial effusion? Treat with diuretic?

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. ...Read more

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Is there a difference between pericarditis and pericardial effusion?

Is there a difference between pericarditis and pericardial effusion?

Pericardium: Pericarditis is an inflammation of the membrane that surrounds the heart. A pericardial effusion is fluid that lies between this membrane and the heart muscle. ...Read more

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How long does it take for a mod-large pericardial effusion to go away from pericarditis? Also why does pericardial effusion caused pain down left side

Doesn't go away w/o t: A pericardial effusion doesn't normally go away without treatment or drainage. Which to choose depends on the cause of the effusion (viral? Thyroid? Cancer?) How long treatment takes to get rid of the fluid (& the likelihood that it will come back) also depends on the cause. Talk to an experienced cardiologist for help if you don't have a diagnosis. Best of luck! Thanks for asking HealthTap! ...Read more

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Do all pericardial effusion need to be drained even if they are moderate to large in size. What is the criteria when determining if drainage is neede?

Other than for: Diagnostic reasons if there is not tamponade physiology and the patient is asymptomatic without hemodynamic compromise it can be observed clinically and followed by diagnostic studies without having to drain it. ...Read more

Dr. Yun Tran Dr. Tran
1 doctor agreed:
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I have a mod-large pericardial effusion inferior to lv & rv. So where is that located exactly? Dr. said "IF" he removes it will do pericardial window.

Dr. Yun Tran Dr. Tran
1 doctor agreed:

Bottom of heart: Inferior to left ventricle and right ventricle. So the fluid is at the bottom of your heart. ...Read more

Effusion (Definition)

Increased joint fluid or ...Read more