Pericardial Effusion

Pericardial effusion The pericardium, a double-layered, sac-like tissue that surrounds the heart, develops disease when there is excess fluid buildup. Usually, a thin layer of fluid exists between these layers. However, if the pericardium is ill or hurt, the ensuing inflammation may result in an abundance of fluid. Bleeding, illnesses linked to cancer, and chest traumas are additional non-inflammatory triggers for fluid buildup surrounding the heart. In severe circumstances, it could result in mortality if left untreated and cause heart failure.


Introduction to Pericardial Disease:


Fluid accumulation in the area surrounding the heart is known as pericardial effusion. Numerous factors, such as infections, wounds, or other medical disorders, can cause it.  If the accumulation is significant or happens quickly, your cardiovascular system could become consolidated, which might cause cardiac tamponade, which can be a life-threatening medical emergency. The sac with two walls, known as the pericardium, encircles the heart The pericardium normally contains just enough moisture to cushion your heart without preventing it from expanding and filling with blood with each heartbeat.

Cardiac tamponade occurs when there is insufficient space for your heart to expand and fill with blood due to an excessive amount of fluid in the pericardium. Your heart could stop, which would be devastating in a matter of minutes to hours if untreated. Similar to pericardial effusion, pleural effusion takes place in a different area of your chest. Your lungs are protected by a bag called the pleural cavity, and a pleural effusion occurs when fluid accumulates there. Your lungs are prevented from expanding as they should by pleural effusion, making breathing more difficult.


Causes of Pericardial Disease:


Following a cardiac event or illness, the pericardium can become inflamed (pericarditis), which can lead to pericardial effusion. Large effusions may be brought on in particular circumstances by specific malignancies. This illness can also be brought on by a blockage of the pericardial fluids or a buildup of blood inside the pericardium. In certain cases, the cause is unknown (idiopathic pericarditis). Pericardial effusion can have various causes, such as:

  • Autoimmune diseases like lupus and rheumatoid arthritis
  • Heart or pericardial cancer Metastasis of cancer, especially lung cancer, breast cancer, or Hodgkin lymphoma
  • If the heart was nearby when receiving radiation treatment for cancer,
  • Chest injury
  • Following a heart attack, cardiac surgery, or another operation where the heart’s lining is damaged, the pericardium may become inflamed.
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Using specific medications or being around toxins



Signs and Symptoms:


You might not be experiencing any pericardial effusion symptoms. With a modest effusion, this is more frequently the case. It’s possible that whatever is generating the pericardial effusion will make you more likely to experience symptoms. For instance, if your pericardial sac is infected, you can experience a fever. You might experience symptoms like these if your pericardial effusion is more serious:

  • Chest discomfort or agony
  • Increased size of the neck’s veins
  • Fainting
  • Rapid respiration
  • Higher heart rate
  • Nausea
  • Right upper abdominal pain
  • Breathing difficulty
  • The arms and legs swelling

Extremely low blood pressure might also result from an effusion that is quite severe. Shock-like symptoms may result from this. These consist of:

  • Dizziness or lightheadedness
  • Chilly legs and arms
  • Clammy skin flaw
  • Quickly breathing
  • Nausea or diarrhea
  • Light skin
  • Less urine is produced.




The jugular vein in your neck may bulge or you may notice an odd dip in blood pressure when you breathe in. Other warning indicators include muffled or strange heart sounds. The probable way a healthcare professional may detect pericardial effusion in the absence of symptoms is if they happen to spot it on medical imaging while looking at you for another reason. A pericardial effusion that shows up on a chest X-ray following an automobile accident is an example of this type of diagnostic, which is known as an accidental finding. Your doctor can determine if you have pericarditis if:

  • EKG or ECG
  • Echocardiogram
  • Heart MRI
  • Physical exam
  • To identify the cause of pericarditis, more tests might be carried out.


Homeopathic Treatment:


  • Cactus G is beneficial homeopathic medicine if there is a “Sensation as if the heart were grasped with an iron hand,” which clings and releases alternately. Rheumatic carditis, in excess of what any additional therapy, is also very beneficial. It is also helpful in reducing inflammation. It works effectively for breathing difficulties, suffocative feelings, fainting, violent heartbeats, and the inability to lie down.
  • Kalmia is an excellent treatment for heart enlargement, particularly when it follows rheumatism and the sense of “numbness in the left arm.” Every third or fourth beat, is erratic, sporadic, usually associated with severe pains that radiate through the sternum to the scapula. Effective treatment for heart issues brought on by the external application of rheumatism suppression
  • Spigelia is for hurtful feelings of affection. It is first on the list for both pericarditis and acute carditis. Sharp aches radiate from the heart down the arm, across the chest, and down the spine, as well as from the heart to the back. Effective in reducing palpitations, which are made worse by any movement of the arm or torso. Particularly useful for neuralgia and heart pains.
  • Aconite helps with heart congestion, which is exacerbated when walking and causes anxiety, oppression, and palpitations. There are lancinating stitches and episodes of excruciating pain. Additionally, it is helpful for mild cardiac hypertrophy, pericarditis, and endocarditis with fever and significant mental anguish

The best technique to get rid of the extra fluid inside the pericardium in some circumstances is through surgery. Surgery may be necessary in an emergency situation or may be planned when an effusion produces symptoms but is non-threatening and slow-growing. Video-assisted thoracic surgery (VATS), a frequent surgical method for this, produces a pericardial “window” to allow draining fluid to pour into the greater pleural cavity rather than filling up the pericardial area.

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