Pediatric Cardiology

, Volume 31, Issue 2, pp 287–290 | Cite as

Pericardial Effusion in a Preterm Infant Resulting from Umbilical Venous Catheter Placement

  • Tricia L. Thomson
  • Marc Levine
  • Jonathan K. MuraskasEmail author
  • Chawki El-Zein
Case Report


Pericardial effusion in neonates is a rare occurrence associated with malpositioning of central venous catheters. This report describes a case of pericardial effusion in which echocardiographic determination of line position, typically considered one of the most reliable means of placement verification, was misleading. The infant ultimately did well after pericardiocentesis, with complete resolution of symptoms and no further complications.


Pericardial effusion Umbilical venous catheter 

Supplementary material

Movie 1

Echo images revealing a large pericardial effusion along with what was thought to be the umbilical venous catheter crossing through the foramen ovale and perforating the left atrium. It was later determined that this actually represented a fibrin sheath (MOV 2468 kb)

Movie 2

Echo images revealing resolution of the pericardial effusion and partial resolution of the fibrin sheath. However, the fibrin sheath is still visible crossing the foramen ovale into the left atrium (MOV 2586 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tricia L. Thomson
    • 1
  • Marc Levine
    • 2
  • Jonathan K. Muraskas
    • 1
    Email author
  • Chawki El-Zein
    • 3
  1. 1.Departments of Pediatrics and NeonatologyLoyola University Medical CenterMaywoodUSA
  2. 2.Departments of Pediatrics and CardiologyLoyola University Medical CenterMaywoodUSA
  3. 3.Departments of Pediatrics and Cardiovascular SurgeryHope Children’s HospitalOak LawnUSA

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