What is pericardial effusion defined?

Updated: Nov 28, 2018
  • Author: William J Strimel, DO, FACP; Chief Editor: Terrence X O'Brien, MD, MS, FACC  more...
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Answer

Pericardial effusion is the presence of an abnormal amount of fluid and/or an abnormal character to fluid in the pericardial space. It can be caused by a variety of local and systemic disorders, or it may be idiopathic. See the image below.

This echocardiogram shows a large amount of perica This echocardiogram shows a large amount of pericardial effusion (identified by the white arrows).

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