What are characteristics of "swinging heart" in patients with 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

A “swinging heart” may be present with large effusions. This is characterized as counterclockwise rotational movement, which occurs in addition to the triangular movement of the heart, producing a dancelike motion.

Thin fibrous strands within the pericardial space can be seen in acute effusive pericarditis. Shaggy exudate may indicate a potentially difficult pericardiocentesis, but this finding is not diagnostic.


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