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THE JOURNAL OF CARDIOVASCULAR SURGERY
Rivista di Chirurgia Cardiaca, Vascolare e Toracica
Indexed/Abstracted in: BIOSIS Previews, Current Contents/Clinical Medicine, EMBASE, PubMed/MEDLINE, Science Citation Index Expanded (SciSearch), Scopus
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ORIGINAL ARTICLES THORACIC SECTION
The Journal of Cardiovascular Surgery 2002 October;43(5):735-9
Which treatment in pericardial effusion?
Campione A. 1, Cacchiarelli M. 2, Ghiribelli C. 1, Caloni V. 2, D’Agata A. 1, Gotti G. 1
1 Thoracic Surgery Unit University Hospital of Siena, Siena, Italy
2 Thoracic Surgery Unit ASL 8, Arezzo, Italy
Background. Pericardiocentesis, pleuro-pericardial window, subxiphoid pericardial drainage and pericardioscopy: which methodology to treat pericardial effusion? Each of these surgical treatments can be effective, depending on clinical factors and history of the patients. We considered pericardial effusions during 5 years.
Methods. We reviewed 64 cases: 14 acute pericardial effusions (5 patients with cardiac tamponade), 39 subacute, 11 chronic. Epidemiology and aetiology: 8 cases were between 20 and 25 years old (all affected by lymphoma), 56 were distributed in every age, especially over 60, and of these 45 were neoplastic and 11 non- neoplastic. Non-neoplastic cases were connectivitis (3 patients), uncertain origin effusion (7 patients), tubercular (1 patient). In neoplastic effusions we found lymphoma (at older age) in 7, small cell lung cancer in 6, NSCLC in 12, mesothelioma in 2, breast cancer in 7.
Results. Acute pericardial effusions with cardiac tamponade underwent echo-guided pericardiocentesis. In 43 we had a subxiphoid pericardial drainage, among these cases we performed 4 pericardioscopies. We created a pleuro-pericardial window on VATS in 13, on thoracotomy in 4 for technical reasons.
Conclusions. Pericardiocentesis is to be preferred in acute pericardial effusion with cardiac tamponade to avoid general anaesthesia. Pleuro-pericardial window on VATS is better in chronic pericardial effusion (for infective or systemic disease) and in recurrence, after performing subxiphoid drainage. Subxiphoid drainage is suitable for all neoplastic patients, and in case of unknown aetiology in order to perform a pericardioscopy.