• Saleh Alshalash
  • Carey Kimmelstiel


Evacuation of pericardial fluid from the pericardial space to treat cardiac tamponade was initially described in 1653 through surgical incision of the sternum. Advancements in the technique were made with percutaneous needle aspiration in the nineteenth century and, currently, the procedure is done in a similar manner using small gauge needles and multi-modality imaging (echocardiography, fluoroscopy, or both). Cardiac tamponade is a clinical diagnosis and the size of the pericardial effusion required to cause tamponade depends on the rate of fluid accumulation.


Pericardial effusion Cardiac tamponade Subxiphoid approach Left parasternal approach Apical approach 


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    Ainsworth C, Salehian O. Echo-guided pericardiocentesis, let the bubbles show the way. Circulation. 2011;123:e210–21.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Cardiac Catheterization LaboratoryTufts Medical CenterBostonUSA
  2. 2.Associate Professor of Medicine, Division of CardiologyTufts Medical Center, Tufts University School of MedicineBostonUSA

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