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Cardiac Tamponade 

Cardiac Tamponade
Chapter:
Cardiac Tamponade
Author(s):

Todd Novak

, and Silas Hoxie

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780190884512.003.0008
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date: 19 August 2019

Cardiac tamponade is a life-threatening condition that occurs when accumulating pericardial fluid results in impaired cardiac filling and hemodynamic instability. Most of the clinical features of tamponade are subtle and nonspecific and may not be appreciated until cardiovascular collapse is imminent. Understanding the physiological changes that occur during tamponade are essential for early recognition and intervention. While cardiac tamponade is a clinical diagnosis, echocardiography is the modality of choice in facilitating the prompt identification of extraneous pericardial contents and the determination of the hemodynamic significance. This chapter discusses the presentation, pathophysiology, and echocardiographic signs of tamponade, as well the differential diagnosis and confounding conditions most pertinent to the anesthesiologist. Both medical and surgical management are also addressed, including a review of perioperative and anesthetic techniques.

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