How is CT scanning used to detect effusions 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

Effusions are easily detected through different radiographic coefficients of fluid and the pericardium. Similarly, the nature of the effusion may be surmised, given the different attenuation coefficients for blood, exudate, chyle, and serous fluid. However, hemopericardium may be difficult to assess without intravenous contrast, because blood has the same radiodensity as myocardium.


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