Issue: 2002 > September > case report

How to diagnose cardiac tamponade

J.H.M. van Steijn, D.Th. Sleijfer, W.T.A. van der Graaf, A. van der Sluis, P. Nieboer


Malignant pericardial effusion is a potentially fatal complication of malignancy unless recognised and treated promptly. Patients with this condition are often difficult to diagnose. Physical examination, chest radiography and elec-trocardiography have poor diagnostic values in identification of patients with pericardial effusion. Echocardiography, which allows rapid confirmation of the presence of an effu-sion and precise assessment of its haemodynamic impact, is the gold standard for diagnosis.