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Contrast echocardiography during pericardiocentesis
  1. T R Bettsa,
  2. J R Radvanb
  1. aCardiology Specialist Registrar, Wessex Cardiothoracic Centre, Mailpoint 46, Southampton General Hospital, Tremona Road, Southampton SO16 6YD, UK, bRoyal Bournemouth Hospital, Castle Lane East, Bournemouth BH7 7DW, UK
  1. Dr Betts.

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A 35 year old man presented to the casualty department with a two week history of malaise, dyspnoea, and pleuritic chest pain. His temperature was 38°C, blood pressure 100/75 mm Hg, pulse 105 beats/min and regular, and the heart sounds were quiet. A 12 lead ECG was unremarkable. Chest radiography showed an enlarged cardiac silhouette. Transthoracic echocardiography confirmed a 2 cm pericardial effusion. Pericardiocentesis was performed via the subxiphoid route with the aid of contrast echocardiography (fig 1). Serology and other investigations suggested a viral aetiology. The catheter was removed after 48 hours and the patient successfully discharged home.

Figure 1

Cross sectional contrast echocardiography, parasternal short …

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