Article Text

Download PDFPDF

Postoperative hydropneumopericardium
  1. E Aidala,
  2. A Valori,
  3. P A Abbruzzese

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.

A 20 year old man with a sinus venosus atrial septal defect underwent surgical correction with a pericardial baffle; the superior vena cava was not patched. Seven days postoperatively he developed pericardial effusion, which was initially treated with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. The pericardium was subsequently drained surgically, through a subxyphoid approach, after an unsuccessful percutaneous attempt. A pericardial drain was inserted the day after the procedure because of a hydropneumopericardium, revealed by standard chest x ray (left). We hypothesise that air trapping in the pericardium occurred because of a valve mechanism caused by the anti-Trendelenburg position.

Embedded Image

Chest x ray of the pericardium showing trapped air (arrows) and effusion level (arrowheads).