What are the morbidity and mortality associated with pericardial effusion?

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

The morbidity and mortality of pericardial effusion is dependent on etiology and comorbid conditions. Idiopathic effusions are well tolerated in most patients. As many as 50% of patients with large, chronic effusions (effusions lasting longer than 6 months) have been found to be asymptomatic during long-term follow-up.

Pericardial effusion is the primary or contributory cause of death in 86% of cancer patients with symptomatic effusions. The survival rate for patients with HIV and symptomatic pericardial effusion is 36% at 6 months and 19% at 1 year.


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