What is the role of echocardiography in the diagnosis of acute pericarditis?

Updated: Apr 02, 2019
  • Author: Sean Spangler, MD; Chief Editor: Terrence X O'Brien, MD, MS, FACC  more...
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Answer

Although transthoracic echocardiography remains the initial test of choice for detecting pericardial effusions and diagnosing tamponade, this study is limited in its capacity to reveal the entire pericardium and its operator dependence.  Nonetheless, echocardiography is particularly helpful if pericardial effusion is suspected on clinical or radiographic grounds, the illness lasts longer than 1 week, or myocarditis or purulent pericarditis is suspected.

This study is helpful in quickly confirming the diagnosis, particularly if cardiac tamponade is suspected, [36] and it can also be used to evaluate for chamber size and ventricular dysfunction.

Go to Imaging in Constrictive Pericarditis for complete information on this topic.


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