Malignant pericarditis, when associated with massive pericardial effusion, presents a critical condition in lung cancer patients. Because this condition often arises in terminally ill patients, intensive therapy such as multi-drug combination chemotherapy is rarely appropriate. This study evaluated the clinical relevance of intrapericardial administration of carboplatin for controlling malignant pericardial effusions associated with non-small-cell lung carcinoma (NSCLC). The method used for 10 eligible patients consisted of draining the pericardial effusion and infusing 300 mg/body of carboplatin in 50 ml of saline through an in-place catheter into the pericardial space and clamping the catheter for 40 min. Nine of the 10 patients showed satisfactory results, and 8 experienced complete regression of the effusion. No major or minor adverse effects were observed. Pharmacokinetics analysis revealed that the concentration of free platinum in the pericardial fluid was very high while that of total platinum in the circulating plasma was very low, assuring the usefulness of the intrapericardial instillation of carboplatin in terminally ill patients for controlling malignant pericardial effusion when the systemic delivery of cytotoxic agents is inappropriate. © 2000 Cancer Research Campaign
cardiac tamponade; pericardial effusion; malignant pericarditis; lung cancer; carboplatin; pharmacokinetics
Pericardial diseases can present clinically as acute pericarditis, pericardial effusion, cardiac tamponade, and constrictive pericarditis. Patients can subsequently develop chronic or recurrent pericarditis. Structural abnormalities including congenitally absent pericardium and pericardial cysts are usually asymptomatic and are uncommon. Clinicians are often faced with several diagnostic and management questions relating to the various pericardial syndromes: What are the diagnostic criteria for the vast array of pericardial diseases? Which diagnostic tools should be used? Who requires hospitalization and who can be treated as an outpatient? Which medical management strategies have the best evidence base? When should corticosteroids be used? When should surgical pericardiectomy be considered? To identify relevant literature, we searched PubMed and MEDLINE using the keywords diagnosis, treatment, management, acute pericarditis, relapsing or recurrent pericarditis, pericardial effusion, cardiac tamponade, constrictive pericarditis, and restrictive cardiomyopathy. Studies were selected on the basis of clinical relevance and the impact on clinical practice. This review represents the currently available evidence and the experiences from the pericardial clinic at our institution to help guide the clinician in answering difficult diagnostic and management questions on pericardial diseases.
Primary malignant pericardial mesothelioma is a very rare pericardial tumor of unknown etiology.
A 61-year-old Caucasian woman was admitted to our hospital complaining of exertional dyspnea due to a large pericardial effusion. Intrapericardial fluid volume declined after repeated pericardiocentesis, but the patient progressively developed a hemodynamically relevant pericardial constriction. Pericardiectomy revealed a pericardial mesothelioma. Subsequently, four cycles of chemotherapy (dosage according to recently published trials) were administered. The patient remained asymptomatic, and there was no recurrence of the tumor after three years.
Pericardial mesothelioma should be considered and managed appropriately in non-responders to pericardiocentesis, and in patients who develop constrictive pericarditis late in their clinical course.
We evaluated clinical outcomes after drainage for malignant pericardial effusion with imminent or overt tamponade.
Materials and Methods
Between August 2001 and June 2007, 100 patients underwent pericardiocentesis for malignant pericardial effusion. Adequate follow-up information on the recurrence of pericardial effusion and survival status was available for 98 patients.
Recurrence of effusion occurred in 30 patients (31%), all of whom were diagnosed with adenocarcinoma. Multivariate analysis indicated that adenocarcinoma of the lung (hazard ratio [HR], 6.6; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.9 to 22.3; p=0.003) and progressive disease despite chemotherapy (HR, 4.3; 95% CI, 1.6 to 12.0; p=0.005) were independent predictors of recurrence. Survival rates three months after pericardiocentesis differed significantly with the type of primary cancer; the rates were 73%, 18%, 90% and 30% in patients with adenocarcinoma of the lung, squamous cell carcinoma of the lung, breast cancer and other cancers, respectively.
Recurrence and survival of patients with malignant pericardial effusion are dependent on the type of primary cancer and response to chemotherapy. Patients with adenocarcinoma of the lung may be good candidates for surgical drainage to avoid repeated pericardiocentesis, but pericardiocentesis is considered effective as palliative management in patients with other cancers.
Neoplasms; Pericardial effusion; Pericardiocentesis; Prognosis
We describe the case of a 75-year-old man who presented with a large pericardial effusion and an intrapericardial mass. Malignant thymoma with pericardial involvement was diagnosed by percutaneous pericardial tumor biopsy. The pleural effusion was not malignant. The patient underwent further oncologic evaluation followed by adjunctive chemotherapy and radical extirpation of the tumor. He remains asymptomatic and free of disease 24 months after the procedure. We also discuss the role of percutaneous biopsy in the diagnosis of pericardial diseases. (Tex Heart Inst J 2003;30:130–3)
Biopsy/instrumentation/methods; percutaneous pericardial biopsy; pericardial effusion; pericardium/pathology; thymoma
Primary pericardial malignant mesothelioma is an extremely rare neoplasm that arises from the pericardial mesothelial cell layers. Clinical symptoms and signs are frequently nonspecific, and the diagnosis is usually made after surgery or at autopsy. There is no standard treatment for pericardial mesothelioma; nonetheless, radical surgery is the mainstay of therapy for localized disease. The neoplasm is highly aggressive and carries a dismal prognosis with an overall survival of less than six months. This paper presents a case study of a 68-year-old patient with a primary pericardial malignant mesothelioma. Radiologic evaluation revealed a small nodule in the posterior pericardium with pericardial and bilateral pleural effusions. The diagnosis was established after surgery by histological and immunohistochemical studies. The patient remained alive and free of disease for about 24 months; however, due to rapid local recurrence, the patient died 27 months after the surgical treatment.
Cardiac tamponade is a rare manifestation of hypothyroidism, and a less rare cause of pericardial effusion. The accumulation of the pericardial fluid is gradual, and often does not compromise cardiac hemodynamic function. There is a relationship between the severity and chronicity of the disease with the presence of pericardial effusion. There are few cases describing associated pericardial tamponade published in the literature. When a tamponade occurs, a concomitant provocative factor such as a viral pericarditis may be related. Our patient's case appears to be the youngest patient described so far.
We report the case of a previously healthy five-year-old Hispanic (non-indigenous) boy who developed rhabdomyolysis with a history of a recent pericardial effusion and tamponade two months before that required the placement of a percutaneous pericardial drainage. Pericardial effusion was considered to be viral. Later on readmission, clinical primary hypothyroidism was diagnosed and thought to be associated with the previous cardiac tamponade. He developed rhabdomyolysis, which was considered to be autoimmune and was treated with steroids. The level of creatine phosphate kinase and creatine kinase MB fraction returned to within the reference rangeone week after our patient was started on steroids and three weeks after he was started on thyroid hormones.
Physicians should consider hypothyroidism as a differential diagnosis in patients with pericardial effusion. Pericardial effusion may progress and cause a cardiac tamponade with hemodynamic instability. The fact that our patient did not have any manifestations of hypothyroidism might have delayed diagnosis.
Effusive constrictive pericarditis (ECP) is visceral constriction in conjunction with compressive pericardial effusion. The prevalence of proven tuberculous ECP is unknown. Whilst ECP is distinguished from effusive disease on hemodynamic grounds, it is unknown whether effusive-constrictive physiology has a distinct cytokine profile. We conducted a prospective study of prevalence and cytokine profile of effusive-constrictive disease in patients with tuberculous pericardial effusion.
From July 2006 through July 2009, the prevalence of ECP and serum and pericardial levels of inflammatory cytokines were determined in adults with tuberculous pericardial effusion. The diagnosis of ECP was made by combined pericardiocentesis and cardiac catheterization.
Of 91 patients evaluated, 68 had tuberculous pericarditis. The 36/68 patients (52.9%; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 41.2-65.4) with ECP were younger (29 versus 37 years, P=0.02), had a higher pre-pericardiocentesis right atrial pressure (17.0 versus 10.0 mmHg, P<0.0001), serum concentration of interleukin-10 (IL-10) (38.5 versus 0.2 pg/ml, P<0.001) and transforming growth factor-beta (121.5 versus 29.1 pg/ml, P=0.02), pericardial concentration of IL-10 (84.7 versus 20.4 pg/ml, P=0.006) and interferon-gamma (2,568.0 versus 906.6 pg/ml, P=0.03) than effusive non-constrictive cases. In multivariable regression analysis, right atrial pressure > 15 mmHg (odds ratio [OR] = 48, 95%CI: 8.7-265; P<0.0001) and IL-10 > 200 pg/ml (OR=10, 95%CI: 1.1, 93; P=0.04) were independently associated with ECP.
Effusive-constrictive disease occurs in half of cases of tuberculous pericardial effusion, and is characterized by greater elevation in the pre-pericardiocentesis right atrial pressure and pericardial and serum IL-10 levels compared to patients with effusive non-constrictive tuberculous pericarditis.
OBJECTIVE--To investigate the clinical presentation and current management strategies of pericardial effusion in patients with malignancy. DESIGN--Retrospective single centre, consecutive observational study. SETTING--University hospital. PATIENTS--93 consecutive patients with a past or present diagnosis of cancer and a pericardial effusion, including 50 with a pericardial effusion > 1 cm. RESULTS--Of the 50 patients with pericardial effusions > 1 cm, most had stage 4 cancer (64%), were symptomatic at the time of presentation (74%), and had right atrial collapse (74%). Twenty patients were treated conservatively (without pericardiocentesis) and were less symptomatic (55% v 87%, P = 0.012), had smaller pericardial effusions (1.5 (0.4) v 1.8 (0.5), P = 0.02), and less frequent clinical (10% v 40%, P = 0.02) and echocardiographic evidence of tamponade (40% v 97%, P < 0.001) than the 30 patients treated invasively with initial pericardiocentesis (n = 29) or pericardial window placement (n = 1). Pericardial tamponade requiring repeat pericardiocentesis occurred in 18 (62%) of 29 patients after a median of 7 days. In contrast, only four (20%) of 20 patients in the conservative group progressed to frank clinical tamponade and required pericardiocentesis (P = 0.005 v invasive group). The overall median survival was 2 months with a survival rate at 48 months of 26%. Survival, duration of hospital stay, and hospital charges were similar with both strategies. By multivariable analysis, the absence of symptoms was the only independent predictor of long-term survival (relative hazards ratio = 3.2, P = 0.05). Survival was similar in the 43 patients with cancer and pericardial effusions of < or = 1 cm. CONCLUSION--Asymptomatic patients with cancer and pericardial effusion can be managed conservatively with close follow up. In patients with symptoms or clinical cardiac tamponade, pericardiocentesis provides relief of symptoms but does not improve survival and has a high recurrence rate. Surgical pericardial windows or possibly percutaneous balloon pericardiotomy should be used for recurrences and should be considered for initial treatment.
AIM: To evaluate the role and outcome of pericardiocentesis with intrapericardial cisplatin instillation for malignant pericardial effusion resulting from esophageal cancer.
METHODS: We retrospectively studied 7 patients who underwent pericardiocentesis with intrapericardial cisplatin instillation for malignant pericardial effusion resulting from esophageal cancer. After pericardiocentesis, we performed catheterization of the pericardial space under ultrasonogram guidance. Malignant etiology of the pericardial fluid was confirmed by cytological examination. Subsequently, cisplatin (10 mg in 20 mL normal saline) was instilled into the pericardial space.
RESULTS: The mean total volume of the aspirated effusion fluid was 782 ± 264 mL (range, 400-1200 mL). The drainage catheter was successfully removed in all patients, and the mean duration of pericardial drainage was 7.7 ± 2.7 d (range, 5-13 d). No fluid reaccumulation was observed. Mean survival time was 120 ± 71 d (range, 68-268 d).
CONCLUSION: Pericardiocentesis along with catheter drainage appears to be a safe and effective for pericardial malignant effusion and tamponade, and cisplatin instillation prevents recurrence.
Malignant pericardial effusion; Cardiac tamponade; Esophageal cancer; Pericardiocentesis; Cisplatin
BACKGROUND--Conservative treatment of malignant pericardial effusion by intrapericardial instillation of a sclerosing agent may be an alternative to surgery. METHODS--Twenty patients with malignant pericardial effusion were treated by ultrasound guided pericardiocentesis and the intrapericardial instillation of mitomycin C. RESULTS--Mitomycin C was effective in controlling the pericardial effusion in 70% of patients without causing side effects, except for pericardial constriction seven months later in one subject. CONCLUSIONS--Ultrasound guided intrapericardial instillation of mitomycin C is a suitable alternative in the management of malignant pericardial effusion.
Pericardial effusion is an independent predictor of mortality in patients with pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH). However, the management and outcomes of patients with pulmonary hypertension and pericardial effusion are not well described.
A retrospective observational study was conducted at Baylor College of Medicine and The Methodist Hospital by screening all patients admitted between June 1, 2005 and June 1, 2010 with the ICD-9 codes for pulmonary hypertension and pericardial effusion. 138 patients with pericardial effusion were identified, and 103 patients were excluded if they had valvular heart disease, recent surgery or end stage renal disease. Thirty-five patients with PH diagnosed by a historical right heart catheterization or echocardiography and with documented pericardial effusion were included in this analysis. Demographic, hemodynamic, laboratory and survival data was collected.
The mean age was 49.5±36 years (mean ± SD), 31 of 35 patients were females (93%) and pulmonary artery systolic pressure was 77±19 mm Hg. Mean follow-up period was 20.5±12.9 months. Fifteen patients had PAH associated with connective tissue disease (50%). Majority of the patients (87%) with pericardial effusion were managed conservatively. Four patients (13%) who were hemodynamically unstable underwent pericardial window placement. One of them was started on epoprostenol and two patients had the doses of PAH-specific medications uptitrated. Three of four pericardial window patients survived to the conclusion of the follow-up period. The overall survival in our cohort was 60% with three patients lost to follow-up.
Connective tissue disease-associated PAH and female gender were predominant in our cohort of patients with pericardial effusion. Seventy-five percent of patients who were treated with pericardial window for hemodynamically unstable pericardial effusion survived till the end of the study period. Pericardial window may be a therapeutic option in unstable PH patients with pericardial effusion. Further studies are needed to determine the optimal treatment strategy for such patients.
pulmonary arterial hypertension; pericardial effusion; right heart failure; echocardiogram
Pericardial effusion can develop from any pericardial disease, including pericarditis and several systemic disorders, such as malignancies, pulmonary tuberculosis, chronic renal failure, thyroid diseases, and autoimmune diseases. The causes of large pericardial effusion requiring invasive pericardiocentesis may vary according to the time, country, and hospital. Transthoracic echocardiography is the most important tool for diagnosis, grading, the pericardiocentesis procedure, and follow up of pericardial effusion. Cardiac tamponade is a kind of cardiogenic shock and medical emergency. Clinicians should understand the tamponade physiology, especially because it can develop without large pericardial effusion. In addition, clinicians should correlate the echocardiographic findings of tamponade, such as right ventricular collapse, right atrial collapse, and respiratory variation of mitral and tricuspid flow, with clinical signs of clinical tamponade, such as hypotension or pulsus paradoxus. Percutaneous pericardiocentesis has been the most useful procedure in many cases of large pericardial effusion, cardiac tamponade, or pericardial effusion of unknown etiology. The procedure should be performed with the guidance of echocardiography.
Pericardial effusions; Echocardiography; Cardiac tamponade; Pericardiocentesis
Advanced malignant disease frequently involves the heart and pericardium, and pericardial effusion is a common postmortem finding in such patients. Identification of pericardial effusions in life is uncommon, however, even when symptomatic. Cardiac tamponade occurring as the first presentation of malignancy appears to be uncommon. We present five cases of cardiac tamponade due to undiagnosed malignancy which presented to a general medical unit over 18 months. The availability of echocardiography was an important factor in correct diagnosis, since clinical features were non-specific. Bronchial adenocarcinoma was the cause in three of the five cases. Review of the literature confirms adenocarcinomas of the bronchus as the most common cause of this complication. The majority of cases have presented with large volume, haemorrhagic effusions, and cytology (with or without carcinoembryonic antigen measurement) was diagnostic in most patients. Immediate treatment with subxiphoid pericardiotomy is recommended; the role of balloon catheter pericardiotomy remains to be established. Combined chemotherapy and radiotherapy appears to extend survival, which in some cases may be prolonged. We recommend that early echocardiography should be obtained in all patients presenting with apparent cardiac failure, since early treatment of malignant effusions provides symptomatic relief.
Three cases of Wegener's granulomatosis with cardiac complications are described and the relevant published reports are reviewed. The first case of Wegener's granulomatosis was associated with aortic regurgitation and required aortic valve replacement. The second and third cases were associated with pericardial disease requiring pericardiectomy for constructive pericarditis in one case, and haemorrhagic pericarditis with pericardial effusion in the other. Aortic valve involvement in Wegener's granulomatosis is uncommon and valve replacement has been described on only one previous occasion. Pericardial involvement is relatively common pathologically, but pericardial surgery has been described in this condition only twice, once for tamponade and once for constrictive pericarditis after pericardiocentesis. Cardiac involvement is not uncommon in patients with Wegner's granulomatosis and may be clinically important. Diagnosis is aided by estimation of the anti-neutophil cytoplasmic antibody titre.
Malignant mesothelioma is a disease that originates from mesenchymal cells. It is related to the occupational or environmental exposure to asbestos. The treatment remains controversial because it is commonly diagnosed at a very late stage, and the prognosis is very poor. In this report, we present a 37-year-old female patient who was admitted with shortness of breath, palpitation and inability to sleep on her back for the previous 10 days. A large pericardial effusion was detected on echocardiography. Pericardiocentesis was performed and the patient’s symptoms were alleviated. However, approximately 7 months later, she was readmitted to the clinic with complaints of a mass at the incision site. Pathological examination of the mass yielded a diagnosis of pericardial malignant mesothelioma. Malignant mesothelioma is a rare occurrence, and to our knowledge, there are no reports in the English literature of pericardial malignant mesothelioma local invasion to an incision site.
pericardial; malignant; mesothelioma; cutaneous
Pericardial effusion as a complication of malignant gynecological disorders is rare. Few cases of endometrial cancer, squamous cell carcinoma of the cervix, ovarian cancer and uterine carcinosarcoma have been previously reported. We report the first case of cardiac tamponade secondary to a cervical adenocarcinoma.
A 54-year-old Caucasian woman, without any relevant medical history and no gynecological aftercare, was admitted to our hospital emergency room with severe dyspnea. Echocardiography revealed severe pericardial effusion with a swinging heart. An emergency pericardial drainage was performed through a pericardial window, which permitted the draining of 700 mL of bloody fluid and a pericardial biopsy. Cytological examination of the fluid revealed atypical cells, and the biopsy specimen showed tumor emboli suggestive of adenocarcinoma. Magnetic resonance imaging showed a 35 mm cervical lesion indicative of an endocervical tumor. Exploratory laparoscopy revealed diffuse peritoneal lesions and histological examination of cervical curettage showed a poorly differentiated micropapillary adenocarcinoma of the cervix.
Carcinomatous pericarditis as the first symptom of a malignant gynecological adenocarcinoma has not, to the best of our knowledge, been documented before. This case highlights the extreme severity of pericardial effusion secondary to cervical adenocarcinoma, a sign of advanced disease. Gynecological malignancies have to be considered in cases of neoplastic pericardial effusion.
Background and Objectives
Tuberculous (TB) pericarditis is a major cause of constrictive pericarditis requiring pericardiectomy. We sought to determine initial prognostic factors in patients with TB pericarditis.
Subjects and Methods
We evaluated initial presentation and clinical outcomes (mean follow-up 32±27 months) in 60 consecutive patients newly diagnosed with TB pericarditis.
Initial presentations were pericardial effusion (PE), effusive-constrictive pericarditis, and constrictive pericarditis in 45 (75%), 9 (15%), and 6 (10%) patients, respectively. Of the 54 patients without initial constrictive pericarditis, 32 (59%) showed echogenic materials in PE, including frond-like exudative coating and fibrinous strands. These patients had a longer disease duration before diagnosis, were initially more symptomatic, in a more advanced state, showed more persistent pericardial constrictions (38% vs. 0%, p<0.001) despite anti-TB medications, and tended to require pericardiectomy more often (19% vs. 0%, p=0.07, p<0.05 by Kaplan-Meier). All patients with effusive-constrictive pericarditis showed echogenic PE. Of the 60 total patients, 10 (17%) underwent pericardiectomies during follow-up. All of these patients showed initial pericardial constrictions, whereas no patient without initial pericardial constriction underwent pericardiectomy (p<0.001). Seven patients showed transient pericardial constrictions that resolved without pericardiectomy.
Initial pericardial constriction and echogenic PE are poor prognostic signs for persistent pericardial constriction and pericardiectomy in patients with newly diagnosed TB pericarditis. These results suggest that early diagnosis and prompt anti-TB medication may be critical.
Pericarditis; Tuberculosis; Echocardiography; Prognosis
Objectives: To determine the prevalence and time course of pericardial effusion after open heart surgery for congenital heart diseases and to identify predisposing risk factors.
Design and patients: Prospective assessment of development of pericardial effusion in 336 patients (163 males) undergoing open heart surgery for congenital heart disease by serial echocardiography on days 5, 7, 14, 21, and 28 postoperatively.
Setting: Tertiary paediatric cardiac centre.
Results: The prevalence of pericardial effusion was 23% (77 of 336). Of the 77 patients who developed effusion, 43 (56%) had moderate to large effusions and 18 (23%) were symptomatic. Patients who had a large amount of effusion were more likely to be symptomatic than those with only a small to moderate amount (47.4% v 15.5%, p = 0.01). The mean (SD) onset of pericardial effusion was 11 (7) days after surgery, with 97% (75 of 77) of cases being diagnosed on or before day 28 after surgery. The prevalence of effusion after Fontan-type procedures (60%, 6 of 10) was significantly higher than that after other types of cardiac surgery: repair of left to right shunts (22.1%, 43 of 195), repair of lesions with right ventricular outflow tract obstruction (22.6%, 19 of 84), arterial switch operation (6.7%, 1 of 15), and miscellaneous procedures (25%, 8 of 32) (p = 0.037). Univariate analyses showed that female patients (p = 0.009) and those receiving warfarin (p = 0.002) had increased risk of postoperative pericardial effusion. A greater pericardial drain output in the first four hours after surgery also tended to be significant (p = 0.056). Multivariate logistic regression similarly identified warfarin treatment (β = 1.73, p = 0.009) and female sex (β for male = −0.63, p = 0.037) as significant determinants.
Conclusions: Pericardial effusion occurs commonly after open heart surgery for congenital heart disease. Serial echocardiographic monitoring up to 28 days postoperatively is indicated in selected high risk patients such as those with symptoms of postpericardiotomy syndrome and those given warfarin.
pericardial effusion; congenital heart disease; surgery
Involvement of the pericardium and pericardial effusion at postmortem is common in advanced malignant disease. However, cardiac tamponade presenting as the first manifestation of malignancy is uncommon. We present the case of a patient who presented with malignant pericardial effusion who had advanced lung cancer with metastasis and paraneoplastic features
Primary gallbladder carcinoma is a rare aggressive neoplasm of elderly with poor prognosis. The tumour is often unresectable at the time of diagnosis. Metastasis to heart is rare and only 6 cases have been reported in the indexed literature. We herein report a case of gallbladder carcinoma metastasizing to heart.
PRESENTATION OF CASE
A 54 year old female presented with dyspnoea and chest pain with past history of radical cholecystectomy and palliative chemotherapy for adenocarcinoma of gallbladder. Chest X-ray showed cardiomegaly and 2-D ECHO revealed features of tumour deposits on the surface of myocardium and malignant pericardial effusion. Mini-thoracotomy and pericardial window procedure was done to relieve distressing symptoms and biopsy of pericardial tissue revealed metastatic adenocarcinoma. In spite of intensive care, patient succumbed to disease in the post-operative period.
Primary adenocarcinoma of gallbladder is the most common malignancy of biliary tract and fifth most common malignancy of gastro-intestinal system with dismal prognosis. It most commonly spreads to liver and regional lymph nodes, very rarely distant metastasis occurs to kidney, adrenal, thyroid and bones as reported in the literature. Metastasis to heart presents with symptoms of cardiac failure due to pericardial effusion. Even with intensive care patients will invariably succumb to the disease.
Metastatic spread to heart from carcinoma of gallbladder is very rare. Should a patient be suspected of or an operated case of gallbladder carcinoma present with symptoms of congestive heart failure and massive pericardial effusion, cardiac metastasis should be considered.
Cardiac metastasis; Gallbladder carcinoma; Malignant pericardial effusion
The cause of cardiac tamponade is only established in 50% of cases. This problem is most commonly treated by pericardiocentesis alone, pericardiotomy being reserved for cases of recurrence and pericardiectomy for those patients presenting with constrictive pericarditis. A series of 16 patients treated with pericardial fenestration via a thoracoscope is presented. Pericardial and pleural biopsies were performed, together with cytological and biochemical analysis of the pericardial and pleural fluid where present. This procedure established the aetiology of effusion in all cases. In malignant pericardial effusion bleomycin was used for pericardial sclerosis. This resulted in fewer recurrences than in those patients where sclerosis was not attempted (12.5% v 60%).
Effusive–constrictive pericarditis is a syndrome in which constriction by the visceral pericardium occurs in the presence of a dense effusion in a free pericardial space. Treatment of this disease is problematic because pericardiocentesis does not relieve the impaired filling of the heart and surgical removal of the visceral pericardium is challenging. We sought to provide further information by addressing the evolution and clinico-pathological pattern, and optimal surgical management of this disease.
We conducted a prospective review of a consecutive series of five patients managed in the cardiothoracic surgery unit of University College Hospital, Ibadan, in the previous year, along with a general overview of other cases managed over a seven-year period. This was followed by an extensive literature review with a special focus on Africa.
The diagnosis of effusive–constrictive pericarditis was established on the basis of clinical findings of features of pericardial disease with evidence of pericardial effusion, and echocardiographic finding of constrictive physiology with or without radiological evidence of pericardial calcification. A review of our surgical records over the previous seven years revealed a prevalence of 13% among patients with pericardial disease of any type (11/86), 22% of patients presenting with effusive pericardial disease (11/50) and 35% who had had pericardiectomy for constrictive pericarditis (11/31). All five cases in this series were confirmed by a clinical scenario of non-resolving cardiac impairment despite adequate open pericardial drainage. They all improved following pericardiectomy.
Effusive–constrictive pericarditis as a subset of pericardial disease deserves closer study and individualisation of treatment. Evaluating patients suspected of having the disease affords clinicians the opportunity to integrate clinical features and non-invasive investigations with or without findings at pericardiostomy, to derive a management plan tailored to each patient. The limited number of patients in this series called for caution in generalisation. Hence our aim was to increase the sensitivity of others to issues raised and help spur on further collaborative studies to lay down guidelines with an African perspective.
pericarditis; effusive; constrictive; Ibadan; African
Patients with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection have an increased risk of cardiovascular diseases. Previous publications described pericardial effusion as one of the most common HlV-associated cardiac affiliations. The aim of the current study was to investigate if pericardial effusion still has a relevant meaning of HIV-infected patients in the era of antiretroviral therapy.
The HIV-HEART (HIV-infection and HEART disease) study is a cardiology driven, prospective and multicenter cohort study. Outpatients with a known HIV-infection were recruited during a 20 month period in a consecutive manner from September 2004 to May 2006. The study comprehends classic parameters of HIV-infection, comprising CD4-cell count (cluster of differentiation) and virus load, as well as non-invasive tests of cardiac diseases, including a thorough transthoracic echocardiography.
802 HIV-infected patients (female: 16.6%) with a mean age of 44.2 ± 10.3 years, were included. Duration of HIV-infection since initial diagnosis was 7.6 ± 5.8 years. Of all participants, 85.2% received antiretroviral therapy. Virus load was detectable in 34.4% and CD4 - cell count was in 12.4% less than 200 cells/μL. Pericardial effusions were present in only two patients of the analysed population. None of the participants had signs of a relevant cardiovascular impairment by pericardial effusion.
Our results demonstrate that the era of antiretroviral therapy goes along with low rates of pericardial effusions in HIV-infected outpatients. Our findings are in contrast to the results of publications, performed before the common use of antiretroviral therapy.
pericardial effusion; HIV-infection; AIDS; antiretroviral therapy
Two patients with recurrent symptomatic pericardial effusions secondary to malignant disease were successfully treated by percutaneous balloon pericardiotomy. Open surgery was avoided and the procedure was completed under local anaesthesia in less than 40 minutes. The first patient was free of recurrence at nine months but pericardial effusion recurred at two months in the second patient.
Percutaneous balloon pericardiotomy offers a potentially important new means of relieving recurrent tamponade and substantially reduces trauma to the patient.