chapter  40
4 Pages

Complications of pericardiocentesis

WithRoy P Venzon, Ziyad M Hijazi

Percutaneous pericardiocentesis involves the removal of fluid from the pericardial sac and is a potentially life-saving procedure. Its use was first described in 1840, when it was performed by Franz Schuh on a patient with pericardial effusion secondary to malignancy.1 Pericardiocentesis is primarily indicated for the treatment of cardiac tamponade. In addition, it may also be used to determine the cause of a pericardial effusion, to administer chemotherapeutic agents or antibiotics to patients with pericardial disease, or to remove massive pericardial effusions that compromise lung capacity.2