Treatment of acute pericardial tamponade with a high-vacuum drainage system

  • Christopher Stremmel
  • Enzo Lüsebrink
  • Steffen Massberg
  • Martin OrbanEmail author
Letter to the Editors


Irrespective of its cause, an acute pericardial tamponade is a life-threatening condition and is a dreaded complication in every catheter laboratory. It is defined by a compression of the heart due to the pericardial accumulation of fluid as a result of effusion, trauma or rupture of the heart [4]. Common causes and pathophysiological basics as well as clinical appearance and diagnosis have been the subject of numerous publications in recent years [1, 4]. Here, we focus on the clinical management of acute pericardial tamponades and in particular on an extension of the classic pericardiocentesis algorithm. We hypothesize that the continuous removal of pericardial effusion by high-vacuum drainage is a safe approach that reduces the risk of clot formation in the pericardial space potentially leading to occlusion of the drainage system with recurrent tamponade. Certainly, these preliminary findings need to be confirmed in larger patient cohorts to prove efficacy and safety of this...



We thank the nursing staff of our intensive care unit for all their work.


There was no funding for this letter.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical standards

All ethical standards were met in writing and submitting this correspondence.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Christopher Stremmel
    • 1
    • 2
  • Enzo Lüsebrink
    • 1
    • 2
  • Steffen Massberg
    • 1
    • 2
  • Martin Orban
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.Medizinische Klinik und Poliklinik IKlinikum der Universität MünchenMunichGermany
  2. 2.DZHK (German Centre for Cardiovascular Research), Partner site Munich Heart AllianceKlinikum der Universität MünchenMunichGermany

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