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Trivial Pericardial Effusion

Trivial Pericardial Effusion: So that the beating heart does not create friction with other internal organs, this is being enclosed in a sac called pericardium. This sac should be free from any foreign bodies which include fluids. However, there are certain instances in which fluids tend to build up within the pericardial space. The accumulation of fluid in the pericardium is termed as pericardial effusion.

There are several pathologies that can be associated with pericardial effusion and these include infections, inflammatory diseases such as lupus, cancer, kidney failure and status post heart surgery. As fluid continues to accumulate in this sac, the heart would still keep on pumping. In cases wherein there’s much fluid accumulation in the sac, this is considered to be a trivial pericardial effusion. The symptoms of trivial pericardial effusion may not clearly manifest. Contrary to this, there are also certain instances in which there’s too much fluid build up in the heart. During this time, the heart would already have some pumping failures and there will be poor perfusion towards the different parts of the body, especially the vital organs. This condition is called cardiac tamponade. MRI and CT scan are the most effective modes of diagnosing a possible pericardial effusion though an x-ray may also be able to detect its presence. As with trivial pericardial tamponade, treatment would not be necessary since the fluid accumulation in the pericardial sac would just eventually be absorbed back into the system and symptoms may not be that prominent. Nonetheless, for severe cases of pericardial effusion treatment may be necessary. Often, Non-Steroidal Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs) are given to halt the ongoing inflammatory process. If the condition doesn’t seem to respond to this, surgery may be indicated. The surgery may be either pericardiocentesis or pericardiectomy.

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