Palliative treatment of malignant pericardial effusion: report of two cases and a review of the literature

Support Care Cancer. 1996 Jul;4(4):317-9. doi: 10.1007/BF01358888.


Malignancy accounts for 40%-60% of pericardial effusions. Two individuals with malignant pericardial effusions secondary to lung, cancer, managed with the help of a percutaneous balloon pericardial window (PBPW), are discussed in this report. Clinical benefits in terms of reduction of breathlessness and improved diastolic function of the heart were documented in both. There were no procedure-related complications. The PBPW provides quick relief, appears diagnostically superior to an invasive technique and has a low rate of recurrence and complications.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Fatal Outcome
  • Humans
  • Lung Neoplasms / complications*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Palliative Care*
  • Pericardial Effusion / etiology
  • Pericardial Effusion / pathology
  • Pericardial Effusion / surgery*
  • Pericardial Window Techniques / instrumentation
  • Pericardial Window Techniques / methods*