Article Text

Download PDFPDF
Systematic review of percutaneous interventions for malignant pericardial effusion


The present systematic review assessed the safety and efficacy of percutaneous interventions for malignant pericardial effusion (MPE), with primary endpoint of recurrence of pericardial effusion. Electronic searches of six databases identified thirty-one studies, reporting outcomes following isolated pericardiocentesis (n=305), pericardiocentesis followed by extended catheter drainage (n=486), pericardial instillation of sclerosing agents (n=392) or percutaneous balloon pericardiotomy (PBP) (n=157). Isolated pericardiocentesis demonstrated a pooled recurrence rate of 38.3%. Pooled recurrence rates for extended catheter drainage, pericardial sclerosis and PBP were 12.1%, 10.8% and 10.3%, respectively. Procedure-related mortality ranged from 0.5–1.0% across the percutaneous interventions. Although isolated pericardiocentesis can safely deliver immediate symptomatic relief, subsequent catheter drainage or sclerotherapy are required to minimize recurrence. PBP has been shown to be highly effective and may be particularly useful in managing recurrent effusions. Ultimately, the choice of intervention must be based on the clinical status of patients, their underlying malignancy and the expertise available.

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.

Linked Articles