A 72-year-old woman, on warfarin therapy and with a remote history of breast cancer and radiation treatment, presented with a 10-day history of nausea, dyspnea, dry cough, and dizziness. An electrocardiogram showed new-onset atrial fibrillation. Computed tomography of the chest revealed multiple pulmonary emboli and a pericardial effusion. Echocardiography showed a pericardial effusion with tamponade characteristics. The patient's condition deteriorated, and a pericardiectomy was performed. Histologic evaluation confirmed primary pericardial mesothelioma. She underwent palliative treatment and died 3 months after discharge from the hospital. We discuss the patient's case and the nature of primary pericardial mesothelioma, a rare oncologic entity.
Keywords: Cardiac tamponade/etiology; fatal outcome; heart neoplasms/complications/diagnosis/pathology/ultrasonography; mesothelioma/complications/diagnosis/pathology; pericardial effusion/etiology; pericardiectomy; pulmonary embolism/pathology.