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Open Access Highly Accessed Case report

Pseudo cardiac tamponade in the setting of excess pericardial fat

Thang Nguyen1, Kanwal Kumar2, Andrew Francis3, Jonathan R Walker3, Michael Raabe2, Shelley Zieroth1 and Davinder S Jassal134*

Author Affiliations

1 Section of Cardiology, Department of Cardiac Sciences, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

2 Section of Cardiac Surgery, Department of Cardiac Sciences, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

3 Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences, St. Boniface Research Centre, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

4 Department of Radiology, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

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Cardiovascular Ultrasound 2009, 7:3  doi:10.1186/1476-7120-7-3

Published: 22 January 2009

Abstract

Cardiac tamponade is the phenomenon of hemodynamic compromise caused by a pericardial effusion. Following a myocardial infarction, the most common causes of pericardial fluid include early pericarditis, Dressler's syndrome, and hemopericardium secondary to a free wall rupture. On transthoracic echocardiography, pericardial fluid appears as an echo-free space in between the visceral and parietal layers of the pericardium. Pericardial fat has a similar appearance on echocardiography and it may be difficult to discern the two entities. We present a case of a post-MI patient demonstrating pseudo tamponade physiology in the setting of excessive pericardial fat.