PE may be asymptomatic unless there is an association with inflammation or tamponade. Symptoms typically arise due to compression of neighboring organ structures or diastolic heart failure. Common symptoms include chest pain or discomfort, light-headedness or syncope, palpitations, cough, shortness of breath, nausea, abdominal fullness, dysphagia, hoarseness, anxiety, confusion, and hiccups.
Viral etiologies are the most common causes of infectious pericarditis. Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection can result in PE through secondary bacterial infection, opportunistic infection, malignancies such as Kaposi sarcoma or lymphoma, or capillary leak syndrome. Typical viral causes include hepatitis viruses and coxsackievirus A and B. Pyogenic, tuberculous, fungal, syphilitic, protozoal, and parasitic organisms may also cause pericarditis.
Neoplastic diseases with a higher occurrence of PE include lung cancer, breast cancer, leukemia / lymphoma, malignant melanoma, and mesothelioma.
May also occur following an operation or procedure, most commonly as a complication after cardiac surgery.
Less common causes of PE include uremia, myxedema, severe pulmonary hypertension, radiation therapy, acute myocardial infarction, aortic dissection, trauma, hyperlipidemia, chylopericardium, familial Mediterranean fever, Whipple disease, hypersensitivity or autoimmune-related diseases (eg, systemic lupus erythematosus, scleroderma, rheumatoid arthritis), and medications.
A potentially life-threatening complication of pericardial effusion is cardiac tamponade, a condition where there is poor blood circulation and an insufficient amount of oxygen to the body.
Treatment is dependent on the severity of the disease, the underlying cause, and whether there is or may be a decrease in heart function.
I31.3 – Pericardial effusion (noninflammatory)
373945007 – Pericardial effusion
Differential Diagnosis & Pitfalls
Drug Reaction Data