This may be due to bacterial infection resulting in collection of pus in the pericardium (exudates) or to some non-infective inflammation with collection of serous fluid in the pericardium (transudate), for example in rheumatoid arthritis.
- This condition may be asymptomatic if it is due to non infective cause and is a small effusion.
- Chest pain that is acute or a dull ache depending to the cause of effusion.
- On examination, the apex beat may be difficult to palpate and the heart sounds may be distant if the amount of fluid in
the pericardium is large.
- Full blood count
- Chest x-ray
- If pericardiocentesis is done, send fluid for microscopy, protein estimation, and culture.
- Pericardiocentesis may be diagnostic as well as therapeutic.
- Treat according to type of fluid.