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Pericardial effusion is a condition in which you have fluid between your heart muscle and its moist outer covering, the pericardium. It can be blood, pus, or clear serous fluid. As the accumulated fluid puts pressure on your heart, it can cause heart failure, which can be fatal. A common term for this is fluid around the heart.
If you’ve received a diagnosis of pericardial effusion and live in Sacramento or a surrounding area, the skilled professionals at Dignity Health Heart and Vascular Institute of Greater Sacramento provide the advanced care you need.
During pericardial effusion, fluid leaks from inflamed or damaged nearby blood vessels. There are several conditions that can cause pericardial effusion. Some of the most common causes include:
Pericardial effusion can build up slowly, so it does not always cause symptoms right away.
The signs and symptoms may include:
If you experience any of the following symptoms, call 911 for immediate medical care:
At Dignity Health, our recommendations for treatment for pericardial effusion vary according to the severity. You may need a combination of treatments depending on the underlying cause of pericardial effusion:
You may be able to prevent pericardial effusion by treating and managing underlying causes. For instance, if you have had radiation treatment near the heart or chemotherapy, let your doctors know so they can monitor your heart function. Rely on our to provide exceptional, advanced care every step of the way.