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Pericardial effusion is a buildup of fluid between your heart and its outer covering, the pericardium. Your doctor may refer to this as fluid around the heart. The fluid can be blood, pus, or serous (fluid that normally fills the body cavities). As fluid builds up, it puts pressure on your heart. Increased pressure can cause heart failure, which can be fatal.
Dignity Health is a nationally recognized leader in heart and vascular care. We offer a full range of treatments for pericardial effusion in Arizona. Your care team includes cardiologists and cardiac nurses, as well as technicians, therapists, dieticians, and other specialists. Find a Doctor online or call 844.852.0648 to make an appointment at our Chandler Regional Medical Center or St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center locations today.
Treatment for pericardial effusion depends on its severity and underlying cause. You may need a combination of treatments, including:
Pericardial effusion can sometimes be prevented by managing and treating its underlying cause. For instance, if you have had chemotherapy or radiation treatment near the heart, let your doctors know so they can monitor your heart function.
During pericardial effusion, fluid leaks from nearby blood vessels that are damaged or inflamed. Conditions and medical treatments that commonly cause pericardial effusion include:
Pericardial effusion does not always cause symptoms right away because the fluid can accumulate slowly. Symptoms may include:
If you experience any of the following symptoms, call 9-1-1 immediately: