Your Path

  • Tamponade


  • Any process leading to fluid collection in pericardial space (see list below)

Risk Factors

  • Cardiac surgery
  • Post-MI
  • Cancer related
  • Autoimmune d/o
  • XRT assoc
  • Idiopathic
  • Traumatic
  • Infection→ viral, bacterial, retro-viral, or TB
  • Metabolic d/c→ hypothyroid/renal failure
  • Meds causing pericarditis; anti-coagulants which exacerbate bleeding
  • Free wall rupture (after large MI)


  • Doe
  • Sob
  • Cp
  • Edema
  • Rapid accumulation of fluid leads to more acute sob/doe/low bp
  • Slower accumulation (pericardium stretches) better tolerated, more sub-acute sob/doe/non-specifically fatigued or feeling poorly

Physical Exam Findings

  • Elevated jvp
  • Elevated hr
  • Low bp
  • Soft heart sounds
  • Pulsus paradoxus→ > 10 point drop in SBP w/inspiration
  • Papated pulse volume can also vary w/respiration