Misconceptions and facts about pericardial effusion and tamponade

Edgar Argulian, Franz Messerli

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


Several common misconceptions can make the clinical diagnosis of subacute pericardial tamponade challenging. Widely known physical findings of pericardial tamponade lack sensitivity and specificity. Interpretation of echocardiographic signs requires good understanding of pathophysiology. Over-reliance on echocardiography may result in over-utilization of pericardial drainage procedures. Awareness of these misconceptions with an integrative approach to both clinical and imaging data will help clinicians to assess the hemodynamic impact of pericardial effusion and the need for drainage.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)858-861
Number of pages4
JournalAmerican Journal of Medicine
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Echocardiography Pericardial effusion Pericardial tamponade Pulsus paradoxus


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