What is the role of echocardiographically-guided pericardiocentesis in the treatment of cardiac tamponade?

Updated: Nov 28, 2018
  • Author: Chakri Yarlagadda, MD, FACC, FSCAI, FASNC, CCDS; Chief Editor: Terrence X O'Brien, MD, MS, FACC  more...
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Answer

This is often carried out in the cardiac catheterization laboratory. The procedure is usually performed from the left intercostal space. First, mark the site of entry based on the area of maximal fluid accumulation closest to the transducer. Then, measure the distance from the skin to the pericardial space. The angle of the transducer should be the trajectory of the needle during the procedure. Avoid the inferior rib margin while advancing the needle to prevent neurovascular injury. Leave a 16-gauge catheter in place for continuous drainage.


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