The frequency of pericardial disease in scleroderma found at necropsy in high. The clinical recognition of pericarditis with or without effusion is rare and tamponade with haemodynamic impairment is exceptional. Three patients with scleroderma presented with an acute syndrome of dyspnoea, chest pain, and cardiomegaly requiring pericardiocentesis for relief of pericardial tamponade. One patient died. The mechanism of the pericardial effusion remains unknown. The haemodynamic data recorded from one patient suggested that pericardial fibrosis in scleroderma may predispose to pericardial tamponade.