Objective: To compare the safety and efficacy of pericardial catheter placement with needle pericardiocentesis in dogs with pericardial effusion (PE) DESIGN: Prospective, randomized clinical trial.
Setting: University teaching hospital.
Animals: Thirty client-owned dogs requiring pericardiocentesis between January 2017 and August 2019.
Interventions: Dogs were randomized to undergo PE drainage via indwelling pericardial catheter placement (catheter group) followed by elective drainage every 4-6 hours or needle pericardiocentesis (needle group) repeated as necessary.
Measurements and main results: Fifteen dogs were allocated to the catheter group and 15 to the needle group. Data collected included signalment, cause of effusion, occurrence of arrhythmias pre-, during, and post-pericardiocentesis, procedural length, and details of repeated drainages. There was no significant difference between mean procedural times for pericardial catheter placement (17.7 min [±11.8]) and needle pericardiocentesis (12.1 min [±8.6]) (P = 0.192) or the rate of new arrhythmias in the catheter (36%) and needle (64%) groups (P = 0.24). Pericardial catheters were kept in situ for a median of 21 hours (range, 14-85). Three of 15 (20%) dogs in the needle group required repeated pericardiocentesis within 24 hours of initial pericardiocentesis. Pericardial catheters enabled repeated large volume PE drainage in 4 cases (median, 10.6 mL/kg; range, 8-5-10.6).
Conclusions: Pericardial catheters appear to offer a safe alternative to needle pericardiocentesis. Minimal sedation is required for placement, and they can be placed quickly. Their indwelling nature and use was not associated with a higher rate of arrhythmia compared to that of needle pericardiocentesis alone, and may be beneficial in the event that clinically significant PE recurs.
Keywords: arrhythmia; dog; extended pericardial catheter drainage; pericardiectomy; tamponade.
© Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care Society 2020.