Author + information
- Received September 24, 1985
- Revision received March 17, 1986
- Accepted April 2, 1986
- Published online September 1, 1986.
- Luc A. Pierard, MD*,1,
- Adelin Albert, PhD1,
- Luc Henrard, MD1,
- Philippe Lempereur, MD1,
- Muriel Sprynger, MD1,
- Jean Carlier, MD1 and
- Henri E. Kulbertus, MD, FACC1
- ↵*Address for reprints: Luc A. Piérard, MD, Université de Liège, Service de Cardiologie, Boulevard de la Constitution, 59, B-4020 Liège, Belgium.
To determine the incidence and clinical significance of pericardial effusion after acute myocardial infarction, two-dimensional echocardiography was serially performed in 66 consecutive patients. Pericardial effusion was observed in 17 (26%); the effusion was small in 13 patients, moderate in 3 and large with signs of cardiac tamponade in 1. In this patient, two-dimensional echocardiography strongly suggested myocardial rupture. The observation of pericardial effusion was not associated with age, sex, previous myocardial infarction, atrial fibrillation or treatment with heparin. It was more often a complication of anterior than of inferior acute infarction. Patients with pericardial effusion had higher peak levels of creatine kinase and lactic dehydrogenase and a higher wall motion score index. More patients with pericardial effusion had congestive heart failure or ventricular arrhythmias, developed a ventricular aneurysm or died within 1 year after their infarction.
In conclusion, pericardial effusion is frequently visualized by two-dimensional echocardiography after acute myocardial infarction and its presence is associated with an increased occurrence of complications and cardiac death.
- Received September 24, 1985.
- Revision received March 17, 1986.
- Accepted April 2, 1986.
- American College of Cardiology Foundation