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Pericardial Effusion and Cardiac Tamponade in the New Millennium

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Purpose of Review

The purpose of this paper is to review current approaches to the diagnosis and treatment of pericardial effusions and cardiac tamponade.

Recent Findings

Recent recommendations from the American Society of Echocardiography and the European Society of Cardiology have refined our approaches to the patient with pericardial effusion and cardiac tamponade, but significant knowledge gaps remain. New diagnostic and triage strategies have been proposed, and recent data have advanced our ability to assess the presence and size of a pericardial effusion, assess its hemodynamic impact, and establish its cause.


Despite these recent findings, there is a paucity of evidence-based data to guide the management of pericardial effusion and cardiac tamponade. While the first-line function of echocardiography in managing these disorders is unquestioned, there are increasing niche roles for multimodality imaging.

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Papers of Particular Interest, Published Recently, Have Been Highlighted as: •  Of importance, •• Of major Importance

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Correspondence to Brian D. Hoit.

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Brian D. Hoit declares that he has no conflict of interest.

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This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.

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This article is part of the Topical Collection on Pericardial Disease

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Hoit, B.D. Pericardial Effusion and Cardiac Tamponade in the New Millennium. Curr Cardiol Rep 19, 57 (2017).

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