Pericardial thrombus and cardiac tamponade after pericardiocentesis with intact heart walls

Echocardiography. 2019 Apr;36(4):803-805. doi: 10.1111/echo.14276. Epub 2019 Feb 6.


A young patient affected by a lung neoplasm, presented at emergency department with cardiac tamponade, underwent pericardiocentesis with a prompt restoration of hemodynamic stability. An hour later, the patient presented again signs of tamponade, without evidence of fluids in the drainage that was left in pericardial space. The echocardiography revealed an intrapericardial thrombus compressing the right chambers. An emergency pericardiotomy was performed and a large thrombus was removed from the pericardial space; cardiac walls were intact. Echocardiography played a pivotal role for the identification of a pericardial thrombus as a complication of pericardiocentesis.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cardiac Tamponade / therapy*
  • Echocardiography / methods*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Pericardiocentesis / adverse effects*
  • Pericardium / diagnostic imaging*
  • Pericardium / surgery
  • Recurrence
  • Thrombosis / diagnostic imaging*
  • Thrombosis / etiology
  • Thrombosis / surgery