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What is pericardial effusion?

Saturday, 30 July 2005
Answered by: Dr. Shirish Kumar
DoctorNDTV
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Q. I am 34 years old. Off late I am experiencing some chest pain. I underwent a master health check up and found that my ECG and chest x-ray were normal. The doctor then advised that I take an echocardiogram. The result was primarily normal but it stated that there was a trace of pericardial effusion. According to the doctor this is normal and everyone has it. Is the doctor right? Should I consult a specialist?

A.  Pericardial effusion is the presence of an abnormal amount and/or character of fluid in the pericardial space, which normally contains 15-50 cc of fluid. This fluid functions as a lubricant between the 2 layers of the pericardium. A false-positive echocardiogram can occur in pleural effusion, pericardial thickening, increased pericardial fat (especially the anterior epicardial fat pad), atelectasis, and mediastinal lesions.

A.  Pericardial effusion is the presence of an abnormal amount and/or character of fluid in the pericardial space, which normally contains 15-50 cc of fluid. This fluid functions as a lubricant between the 2 layers of the pericardium. A false-positive echocardiogram can occur in pleural effusion, pericardial thickening, increased pericardial fat (especially the anterior epicardial fat pad), atelectasis, and mediastinal lesions.

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