Anda di halaman 1dari 5


Why WebMD?

Health A-Z
WebMD Home Heart Health Center

Drugs & Supplements

Heart Disease Health Center

Living Healthy
Heart Disease Guide

Family & Pregnancy

News & Experts

Print Article Save Email a Friend

Heart Disease Home

News Reference Videos Community Questions and Answers Glossary Medications

Heart Disease Health Center

Tools & Resources
A Diet to Lower Cholesterol Video: Predicting Heart Disease AFib? Get Personalized Tips At Risk for COPD? The Warning Signs of Stroke Foods to Protect Your Heart

Today in Heart Disease

Heart Disease Guide

1 Overview & Facts 2 Symptoms & Types 3 Diagnosis & Tests 4 Treatment & Care 5 Living & Managing 6 Support & Resources

Are You at Risk for COPD?

How to Boost Your 'Good' Cholesterol

Pericardial Effusion
Save This Article For Later Share this: Font size: A A


A pericardial effusion is an abnormal amount of fluid between the heart and the pericardium, the sac surrounding the heart. Pericardial effusions are associated with many different medical conditions. Most pericardial effusions are not harmful, but large pericardial effusions can cause problems by impairing heart function. The pericardium is a tough, layered sac that wraps around the heart. When the heart beats, it slides easily within the sac. Normally, only 2 to 3 tablespoons of clear-yellow pericardial fluid are present between two layers, which lubricates the heart's movements within the sac. In pericardial effusions, significantly larger
Are you a developer? Try out the HTML to PDF API

10 Tips for Living With Atrial Fibrillation

Could You Have an Irregular Heartbeat?

Most Recent

Most Popular

Q. Why does a patient

with heart disease


open in browser PRO version

with heart disease retain fluid? 2 answers

amounts of pericardial fluid accumulate. Small pericardial effusions may contain 100 milliliters of fluid. In very large pericardial effusions, more than 2 liters of fluid can be present. Causes of Pericardial Effusion Most pericardial effusions are caused by inflammation of the pericardium, a condition called pericarditis. As the pericardium becomes inflamed, extra fluid is produced, producing a pericardial effusion. Viral infections are one of the main causes of pericarditis and pericardial effusions. Infections causing pericardial effusions include cytomegalovirus, coxsackieviruses, echoviruses, and HIV. Other conditions that can cause pericardial effusions include: Cancer

Recommended Related to Heart Disease

My WebMD: In My 20s With a Pacem aker "Does your bra really go up that high?" the TSA officer asked, running her hands along my chest. My boyfriend, Adam, and I w ere headed for a romantic getaw ay, and being held at airport security w asn't on our itinerary. "I have a pacemaker. That's a scar, not my bra," I said. "You're too young for that," she said. While I'm not the only 26-year-old w ith a pacemaker, I'm the only one most security officers have seen. Of the pacemakers installed yearly, 84% are for people older than age 65. Only 6%... Read the My WebMD: In My 20s With a Pacem aker article > >

Q. What is congestive
heart failure? 1 answer

View All

Related to Heart Disease

Abnormal Heart Rhythms Angina Atrial Fibrillation Cholesterol Management Diabetes Heart Failure High Blood Pressure Living Healthy Metabolic Syndrome Stroke More Related Topics

Injury to the pericardium or heart from a medical procedure Heart attack (myocardial infarction) Uremia (severe kidney failure) Autoimmune disease (lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, and others) Bacterial infections, including tuberculosis

open in browser PRO version

Are you a developer? Try out the HTML to PDF API

Bacterial infections, including tuberculosis In a large number of people with pericardial effusion, no cause can be identified. These are called idiopathic pericardial effusions. Symptoms of Pericardial Effusion When a pericardial effusion is caused by pericarditis, the main symptom is chest pain. The chest pain may be made worse by deep breathing and lessened by leaning forward. When pericarditis is causing pericardial effusion, other symptoms may include: Fever Fatigue Muscle aches Shortness of breath Nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea (if viral illness is present) In people with a pericardial effusion that's not due to pericarditis, there are often no symptoms. Large, serious pericardial effusions may cause symptoms including: Shortness of breath Palpitations (sensation that the heart is pounding or beating fast) Light-headedness or passing out Cool, clammy skin A pericardial effusion causing these symptoms is a medical emergency and may be life-threatening. Diagnosis of Pericardial Effusion Because pericardial effusions often cause no symptoms, they are frequently discovered after routine tests are abnormal. Various tests can suggest the possibility of a pericardial effusion: Physical examination : A doctor may occasionally hear abnormal sounds over the heart that suggest pericarditis. However, doctors cannot reliably detect pericardial effusions by examination. Electrocardiogram (ECG): Electrodes placed over the chest produce a tracing of the heart's electrical activity. Certain patterns on ECG can suggest a pericardial effusion or pericarditis is present.



AFib? Get Personalized Tips

Foods to Protect Your Heart

Ways to Treat Atrial Fibrillation

DASH Diet: 10 Tips to Get Started

How to Stay Healthy as You Age

Worried About Hypertension? Assess Yourself

24 Foods That Can Save Your Heart

How to Make Salads More Interesting


open in browser PRO version

Are you a developer? Try out the HTML to PDF API

to WebMD Newsletters

Chest X-ray film: The heart's silhouette on a chest X-ray film may be enlarged, suggesting a pericardial effusion could be present. 1 | 2

to WebMD Newsletters
Heart Health Cholesterol Management Hypertension Women's Health I have read and agree to WebMD's Privacy Policy.

Save This Article For Later

WebMD Medical Reference

Next Article: Marfan Syndrom e

Enter Email Address

Sign up for more topics!


Heart Disease Guide 1 Overview & Facts 2 Symptoms & Types 3 Diagnosis & Tests 4 Treatment & Care 5 Living & Managing 6 Support & Resources

WebMD Special Sections

Quiz: Myths and Facts About Your Heart Health

Fibromyalgia: Learn about the Condition

Take steps to manage your fibromyalgia pain and to help you feel better. Read More

open in browser PRO version

Are you a developer? Try out the HTML to PDF API

What's In Your Mouth?

3 Surprising Causes of Bad Breath Grills and Piercings Gone Bad Ouch! Why Your Teeth Are So Sensitive Learn More

Health Solutions From Our Sponsors

Are You Depressed? Bent Fingers? Bipolar Disorder Facts Birth Control for Moms Hearing Aid Alternative Help with Aching Back Diagnosed With Low T? Depression Treatment Joint Pain Help Center Osteoarthritis Center Vaccines for All Ages Knee Pain Relief Aching Back? Support for Depression Understand Fibromyalgia

In-depth coverage: Psoriasis Treatment on Target? | Healthy Mouth Help | RA Assessment | Living Healthy Guide | Family & Pregnancy Toolbox | Check Your Heartburn Symptoms
Find us on: About WebMD First Aid Advertise With Us Terms of Use RxList Privacy Policy Medscape Sponsor Policy Site Map Careers Contact Us AdChoices

Medscape Reference



BootsWebMD New sletters

WebMD Corporate Physician Directory

WebMD the Magazine

WebMD Health Record

WebMD Mobile


2005-2012 WebMD, LLC. All rights reserved. WebMD does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. See additional information.

open in browser PRO version

Are you a developer? Try out the HTML to PDF API